2 Pages with MBS

By Michael Bungay Stanier

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Description

Discover the best bits of the best books read by people you admire. Michael Bungay Stanier hosts the podcast where brilliant people read the best two pages of a favourite book. Listen as authors, leaders, activists, academics, celebrities, and entrepreneurs dig in with MBS to explore the insights and ideas within. Whether it’s books that inspire leadership, change, self-development and growth, power, strategy, ambition, productivity, or creativity and innovation - this is hand-curated wisdom from people who know. These are the books that change minds, shape lives, and inspire great work and worthy goals.

Episode Date
How to be Alive: Madeleine Dore, Author of ‘I Didn’t Do the Thing Today’ [reads] ‘Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life’
2091
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages I still remember reading my first Nicholson Baker book, The Mezzanine. This extraordinary book slows down the pace of life to one where all the details are able to be noticed. For someone like me–a little bit in my head and moving too fast–reading the book resembles bullet time from The Matrix movies, only with the detritus of everyday living zipping past, instead.  Madeleine Dore reminds me of myself; both a great author and a great asker of questions, though they differ a bit from mine. She’s made a career out of asking obvious questions to important people, with all of the answers she’s received ending up in her best-selling book I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt.  Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Madeleine reads two pages from ‘Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life,’ by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. [reading begins at 12:12]  Hear us discuss:  Making more generous assumptions. [16:24] | The relationship between playfulness and routine. [17:15] | Knowing what’s essential vs transitory about yourself: “It takes a long time to become who you are.” [20:12] | “Things are just experiments and projects—we’re not tied to anything forever.” [25:28] | The complexity of awaiting your next project. [26:35]
Sep 27, 2022
Your Hero-Making Brain: Will Storr, author of ‘The Status Game’, [reads] ‘Incognito’
2118
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages I’m working on a new book about how to strengthen working relationships, so I’ve been consuming a lot of content around the subject. I can divide the teachers I’ve been learning from into two different camps. First are the mechanics; the people laying out what to do. They’re okay, but I prefer the storytellers; the people who realize that stories, not rules, are what change people. It is both an extraordinary and a learnable thing to know how to tell a good story.  Will Storr is a storyteller, and the award-winning author of 6 critically acclaimed books including Selfie, The Science of Storytelling, and most recently, The Status Game. The Times called him, “One of our best journalists of ideas.” Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Will reads two pages from ‘Incognito’ by David Eagleman. [reading begins at 11:58]  Hear us discuss:  “You’re not living a story, you’re playing a game.” [5:37] | The danger of writing yourself as the hero: “You’ve got to accept that you might be wrong about things.”  [16:47] | The positives of the hero-making brain: “I would argue that a certain amount of comforting delusion is good.” [21:05] | How to manage your status: “Status isn’t about being rich or famous, it’s about feeling like you have value.” [23:59] | The connection between the ‘I’ and the ‘we.’ [29:36]
Sep 20, 2022
Explore or Expire: Tom Wiese [reads] ‘I’m Scarred’ from ‘End Malaria’
2447
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages I am a charming man. It’s an optimistic view of who I am. But like everyone else, I also have my faults. This means that one of the great gifts of my life are the people who are on my side but aren’t likely to fall for my whole schtick. Do you have people who, in the nicest possible way, hold you to be the very best person you can be?  Tom Wiese is the co-founder of Studio/E, and he’s spent the past few decades designing tools and teaching people how to explore, launch, and navigate their lives and businesses.  Tom reads an essay written by Michael from the book ‘End Malaria.’ [reading begins at 14:05]  Hear us discuss:  How a scar became a source of strength. [19:02] | Gaining the courage to recognise your scars. [22:07] | The myths of leadership: “Self-leadership is creating a vision that you desire for your life, then holding yourself accountable to it.” [24:45] | “When you’re in the unknown, you don’t know what’s going on unless you take some action.” [29:34] | Finding the balance between courage and safety. [31:34] | Knowing when to stop exploring and start making use of your discoveries: “Exploring alone is really hard; you need to have support.” [35:06]
Sep 13, 2022
The Power of The Underdog: Bobby Herrera [reads] ‘The Gift of Struggle’
1182
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages Bobby Herrera, author of The Gift of Struggle, is the co-founder and CEO of Populus Group. He is also a proud U.S Army Veteran, an unwavering champion for the underdog, and, most importantly, an all-pro dad to three amazing kids. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Bobby reads two pages from his book, ‘The Gift of Struggle.’ [reading begins at 5:47]  Hear us discuss:  Being an underdog, but not disempowered: “One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves in leadership is, ‘Who am I becoming?’ and staying on that journey–imperfectly, but consistently.” [2:33] | How intimidating struggle can be when coupled with inexperience: “We all have a PhD in struggle.” [8:25] | “The long way is the shortcut.” [14:54] | Renewing the commitment to struggle: “Asking for help is a sign of strength.” [15:30]
Sep 06, 2022
A Beginner’s Guide to Ambiguity: Andrea Small, author of ‘Navigating Ambiguity,’ [reads] ‘The Book of Eels’
2658
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages I’m writing a new book that’s due for release in the middle of 2023, and I was just sitting at a coffee shop reading my editor’s response to the first draft. She’s been reviewing it for about three weeks, and those three weeks have been nerve wracking. I’ve released something into the world but not yet grasped what’s next. Anything is possible right now. In other words, I’m sitting with the ambiguity of it all and trying not to freak out.  You know how sometimes products just seem perfect for the task at hand? The reimagination that goes into creating them is the work of a product designer, and those individuals are taught by people like Andrea Small. She started out studying architecture and metalsmithing at Miami University, but later moved into product design after it was recommended to her. Andrea now teaches strategy and design research at the Stanford d.school, where people use design to develop their own creative potential. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Andrea reads two pages from ‘The Book of Eels’ by Patrik Svensson. [reading begins at 16:15]  Hear us discuss:  “Being open to anything is both good and bad.” [6:57] | How to release control when navigating ambiguity. [7:53] | Is ambiguity truly synonymous with uncertainty? [21:33] | Learning to sit with the discomfort of ambiguity: “It’s physically active to navigate ambiguity–that’s why it seems so exhausting.” [23:19] | The relationship between ambiguity and individuality. [30:54] | “There is no perfect solution to navigating ambiguity.” [40:26]
Aug 30, 2022
Moving from Outside to Insider (and back again): Dominic Packer, Co-author of ‘The Power of Us’ [reads] ‘Experiments in Ethics’
2204
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages Keep this between us, but I have an offer for you. There’s this thing called the Insiders Club; it’s amazing and exclusive, and the other people who are a part of it are truly extraordinary, like you. We don’t let anybody in–it’s invite only, and the invites are rare … This doesn’t really exist, but it’s tempting to be an insider, isn’t it?  Actually, even though you’re not in the Insiders Club, you already are an insider. You belong to certain groups that have rules to keep people in, and others out. So, just as you’re already an insider, you’re already an outsider, too. My question is: What are you doing to create insiders, and to mitigate the pain of being an outsider?  Dominic Packer is a Professor of Social Psychology who studies how groups shape our identities, decisions, and our lives. He teaches at Lehigh University, and he’s recently co-authored a book, The Power of Us, with a fellow psychology professor, Jay Van Bavel. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Dominic reads ‘Experiments in Ethics’ by Kwame Appiah. [reading begins at 15:48]  Hear us discuss:  “I think you can be both with and against.” [8:47] | The practice of effective dissent: “If you’re dissenting for the good of the group, your goal is to persuade.” [9:52] | The evolution of social identity over the last decade. [21:20] | Managing and navigating identity politics: “Power has always been held by those who had identities.” [24:41]
Aug 23, 2022
Ever Find Yourself Distracted?: Nir Eyal, author of ‘Indistractable’ [reads] ‘Indistractable’
945
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages Nir Eyal is a former lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the author of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. His first book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products explored using the psychology of revolutionary products such as Facebook and Slack to make other products engaging and habit-forming. Indistractable, on the other hand, is about breaking bad habits - getting away from the things that distract us from what we really want to do with our time, attention and life. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  He reads two pages from a chapter from his book ‘Indistractable,’ entitled How to be An Indistractable Lover. [reading begins at 3:40] Hear us discuss:  “If you asked me today what superpower I’d want, I would want the power to be indistractable.” [2:07] | Surfing the urge: The key to mastering your internal triggers. [8:52] | “Most distraction begins from within us.” [9:54] | “Time management is pain management.” [10:13]
Aug 16, 2022
Fighting For the Life You Want: Jen Louden, author of ‘Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What’s Next’, [reads] ‘Why Bother?’
1249
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages ‘Why bother’ is a question we ask ourselves at certain moments in our lives; moments when life beats us down and we’re finding it harder and harder to keep caring. How do we muster up the will to fight for the life we want? How do we avoid giving up? Jen Louden is a national best-selling author of 9 books and the host of Create Out Loud, a podcast for creatives. For almost 30 years, Jen has been a leading voice in the spheres of self-care and creative transformation. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Jen reads two pages from her book Why Bother. [reading begins at 7:47] Hear us discuss: “Sometimes, you just have to fight for your life.” [5:48] | “It’s not unique to feel disappointment about our lives.” [10:51] | Leaving the past behind to make room for the future: “Nothing can be new unless it first turns to ashes.” [12:39]  Committing to the process: “Letting go of the outcome does not mean giving into resignation.” [16:41]
Aug 09, 2022
Have We Canceled Our Future?: Pascal Finette, author of ‘The Heretic, [reads] ‘Kraftwerk’
1902
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages    What does it mean to be a radical? Karl Marx had this to say about it: “To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For man, however, the root is man himself.” So, radical compassion, empathy, generosity, leadership, humanity - perhaps it’s time to be a radical.  Pascal Finette is a founder of a boutique advisory firm, Be Radical, and the ‘posse leader’ at The Heretic, one of my favorite–very opinionated–newsletters. He’s worn many hats throughout his lengthy career, and, to this day, continues to be a learner. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Pascal reads two pages from Kraftwerk by Uwe Schütte. [reading begins at 12:30]  Hear us discuss:  “You are the people who surround you.” [3:06] | How individuals change: “Make people uncomfortable enough that they feel not only the desire to change, but the necessity. Then–most importantly–give them the tools to do so.” [8:15] | Empowering others to create a preferable future. [15:36] | Navigating the white savior complex: “It comes down to admitting to not knowing.” [22:07]
Aug 02, 2022
Weighing the Price of Ambition: Shellye Archambeau, Author of ‘Unapologetically Ambitious’, [reads] ‘All You Have to Do Is Ask’
2401
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages What’s your relationship with ambition? I feel I’m both ambitious, and not. On one hand, I want to grow into the best of who I am and have a life of contentment, but on the other, there are some status-based trophies that just don’t matter to me as they once did. I’ve come to realize that it’s only by having pursued and–in some cases–won some of those trophies, have I started to appreciate what my bigger, more internally-driven goals might be. Shellye Archambeau, author of Unapologetically Ambitious, was ranked one of the 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in America, reflecting a 30 year career of leadership roles in various organizations. As such, she has a profound understanding of ambition at the highest echelons of organizational life, and is eager to share what she’s learnt along the way. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Shellye reads two pages from ‘All You Have to Do Is Ask’ by Wayne Baker. [reading begins at 16:20]  Hear us discuss:  Working through imposter syndrome: “I don’t know if I ever actually overcame impostor | syndrome, I just learnt how to deal with it.” [3:54] | “It’s really important in life to have cheerleaders around you.” [5:13] | Finding the right people to ask. [21:12] | How to nurture your network: “A network is the people around you who will do something for you when it’s not convenient.” [24:27] | Being ‘Unapologetically Ambitious.’ [27:45] | The price you pay for being ambitious. [34:07]
Jul 26, 2022
Seeking Deep Connection: Kevin Ashton, Author of How to Fly a Horse, [reads] ‘Finding the Mother Tree’
2844
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages The book I’m writing at the moment is about relationships. I’m neither a relationship expert nor a psychotherapist, but they do say you should write so that you can teach what you need to know. This means I’ve been reading some of the big names: Esther Perel, John Gottman, and most recently, Terry Real, who has a brand new book out called Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship. A phrase often used as part of this book’s marketing that chimed deeply with me is this: ‘At a time when toxic individualism is rending our society at every level, Us provides the tools to find our way back to each other through authentic connection and fierce intimacy.’ It’s a big question – how much are we our own person, and how deeply must we connect?  Kevin Ashton’s latest book is called How to Fly a Horse, and, if nothing else, that’s a title that will get you curious. Kevin is also the guy who named the Internet of Things, and he’s been a key player in its evolution. Before any idea becomes a big deal, though, it starts as a crackpot’s mad imaginings. Even though the IoT was an idea that nobody really got, it was one that Kevin couldn’t get rid of, and he had a self-created sense of urgency that said, ‘If I don’t act on this now, I never will.’ Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast  Kevin reads two pages from ‘Finding the Mother Tree’ by Suzanne Simard. [reading begins at 19:50] Hear us discuss:  What it takes to cross the threshold: “Life is too short to get wrapped up in doing things just because you want the glory.” [24:57] | Knowing when it’s time to move on: “Don’t be a cliche.” [27:43] | “It’s okay to move on from one thing before you move on to another.” [34:57] | What we can learn from trees: “Trees are intelligent.” [35:07]
Jul 19, 2022
(Re)Learning How to be White: Garrett Bucks [reads] ‘They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us’
3016
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages One of my favorite questions is simply this: How can I help? The power of it is two-fold. First, it asks the other person to name the help that’s required – that's powerful for them, as it often isn’t totally clear what that is, even to them. The second power – the more important one, in my opinion – is that it disrupts your own assumption that you already know what they need. But, all of this points to a bigger question: How do you best give more to the world than you take?  Garrett Bucks is the founder of The Barnraisers Project. It’s just as it sounds: a group of people get together, and collectively build a barn for one of their members. As with all of us, it took Garrett a while to realize what his path should be. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Garrett reads two pages from ‘They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us’ by Hanif Abdurraqib. [reading begins at 22:35]  Hear us discuss:  “I spent a whole lot of my career feeling like I had a right to leadership, wherever I went.” [4:00] Being a neighbour. [10:33] | How to unlearn the heroic, individualistic narrative. [14:32] | Sitting with whiteness and using your privilege: “Whiteness is completely made up.” [30:50] | The importance of lowering your altitude: “If the conversation stops at the big picture, we’re just gonna be stuck in that morass.” [37:38]
Jul 12, 2022
Make it Magical, Make it Meaningful: Amantha Imber, Author of Time Wise [reads] ‘The Power of Moments’
2630
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages I’m just back from an extended visit to Australia, and as a farewell treat I took my family out to a fancy dinner. I’m a vegetarian but I decided to take them to a high-end steakhouse. I chose to go there for two reasons: first, most of them are committed carnivores; and second, I knew most of them hadn’t had the experience of the theater and rituals that come with a classic steakhouse. Not only was the food great, but I also ran a little pub quiz as dinner unfolded, creating a delightful sense of engagement, competition and bonhomie. At the end of the night, I truly felt like I had accomplished my goal – to create a special memory with the people I love.  Amantha Imber is a speaker, the host of Australia’s #1 business podcast, and a freshly-printed author. The foundation for all of that is actually her training as an organizational psychologist, helping people do better work and feel better at work. As well as speaking, podcasting and writing, Amantha founded a company called Inventium. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Amantha Imber reads two pages from ‘The Power of Moments’ by brothers, Chip and Dan Heath. [reading begins at 19:35]  Hear us discuss:  Identifying your core values with clarity. [15:02] | How to permit yourself to experience extraordinary things. [24:05] | The link between Amantha’s book Time Wise, and the commitment to creating magical memories: “The bad news is, time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot.” [29:15] | “Humans communicate in dyads. We’re designed to communicate one-on-one.” [33:22] | The bagel–croissant approach to networking. [34:03] | Performing periodic ‘life check-ups.’ [35:08]
Jul 05, 2022
Making What Matters Most: Jay Acunzo [reads] ‘Kitchen Confidential’
2786
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages   If you’ve read my new book How to Begin, you'll know that I track my own evolution as I define and commit to a worthy goal. For a while, I’ve been thinking about what success means, and how you would even measure it. In the book, I hone in on one metric, but perhaps I’ve been looking at it all wrong.                                              Jay Acunzo – like me – is a podcaster, and one I look up to. He challenges the way I think about creating and also about success. His core podcast is called Unthinkable and is billed as ‘The American life for creative work’. For many years, though, he hosted another podcast called 3 Clips where he analyzed three clips from other podcasts, and discussed why they worked. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Jay reads two pages from ‘Kitchen Confidential’ by Anthony Bourdain. [reading begins at 18:48]  Hear us discuss:  “We’re so focused on being visible that we’ve forgotten to try and be memorable.” [3:42] | Recognising your own heroic stories. [24:26] | How to identify the bigger picture. [28:00] | “You can imagine better work than you can create.” [33:36] | Being disruptive in a restrictive system. [37:39]
Jun 28, 2022
[Replay] The Search for Purpose: Arthur Brooks, Author of From Strength to Strength, [reads] ‘Meditations’
2736
Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Today, we're pulling one of our best episodes from the vaults, featuring the brilliant Arthur Brooks.   There’s no doubt that I am a purpose-driven person, but I can’t actually pinpoint the origin of this sense of purpose. I’m both an atheist, and an existentialist, so where does this drive of mine come from? Let me ask you - where do you find your sense of purpose?  Arthur C. Brooks is a thinker and a writer about leadership, and, more broadly, a good life. He holds academic positions at Harvard, he was previously head of a conservative think tank, and he writes a regular article in The Atlantic called ‘How to Build a Life.’ But, those are just his jobs. What’s Arthur C. Brooks Why? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Arthur reads two pages from book 4 of ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. [reading begins at 21:00]  Hear us discuss:  Discernment of your purpose. [12:41] | Mastering transgressive acts: “Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you.” [28:12] | Building I-Thou relationships: “Never use your values as a weapon, only as a gift.” [32:15] | Transitions between different strengths in life. [35:23] | What it takes to become an elder. [38:06]
Jun 21, 2022
What’s at the Heart of Being Human? Brian Christian [reads] ‘Godel, Escher, Bach’
2951
One thing I don't mention often is that the thesis I wrote for my law degree was an attempt to combine my interest in literature with a perspective on law. So I wrote about the phenomenon of plain English: that's trying to write law without the legalese. And I tried to write about it through the lens of literary theories of language. I honestly did not understand what I was trying to do. And also nobody in law school understood what I was trying to do. What I can see now, with the benefit of hindsight and some self-esteem and some marketing speak, is that I was a boundary rider. I've come to learn that the interesting things often take place on the edges, those intermediate areas where X meets Y and some sort of new life is born. Brian Christian is a boundary rider too. He's just way more successful and interesting than law school Micheal. He thinks deeply and writes about deep patterns of life through technology and AI and algorithms. He's the author of The Most Human Human, the Alignment Problem, and Algorithms to Live By. After the introduction I just gave you, you're probably going to guess that Brian isn't just a science guy. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Brian reads from Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. [Reading begins at 15:10] Hear us Discuss:  Metaphor can be one of the main mechanisms by which science happens. [6:20] | Rules that are delightful to break. [24:35] | “I have this deep conviction […] we are on to some philosophical paydirt here. There is a very real way in which we are building [AI] systems in our own image, and as a result they come to be a mirror for ourselves.” [28:40] | What is the heart of the human experience? [38:10] | “Humans are not so special.” [42.50]
Jun 14, 2022
How to Travel Through History: Danie Mellor [reads] ‘On Photography’
3186
Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages A young woman stands, one hand on top of a chair, the other holding a bouquet of leaves. She stares directly into the lens of the camera; it’s not clear what she’s thinking. She’s wearing a long, dark dress with long sleeves and a white collar that covers her neck. It’s old-fashioned, colonial. A simple crucifix hangs from her neck. She’s an indigenous Australian –an aboriginal– and behind her is a lush landscape - it’s actually a tapestry of a landscape, and the picture is blue– the blue you might know if you’ve ever seen crockery with the willow pattern-spode china. This is a piece of art called A gaze still dark (a black portrait of intimacy), and the subject is Danie Mellor’s grandmother.   Danie Mellor created this piece of art. He’s a brilliant Australian artist whose work provokes questions about the intersection between colonial and contemporary in historic cultures. His work can be found in museums around the world, including The National Gallery of Canada, The British Museum, The National Museum of Scotland, and in Canberra’s own National Gallery of Australia, which is where I saw this painting and thought, ‘I need to speak to this person.’ Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Danie reads from ‘On Photography’ by Susan Sontag. [reading begins at 13:51]  Hear us discuss:  The art and evolution of photography: “The photograph is a way of stopping the march of mortality.” [19:26] | Incorporating play into your work. [27:24] | Knowing when to stop what you’re doing, and work on something else: “There’s a degree of innovation in the way that ideas express themselves in material form.” [36:43] | “You have control over the quality of work you offer, but not over how it’s received.” [44:29]
Jun 07, 2022
How to Surrender to Your Heart: Thibault Manekin, author of ‘Larger than Yourself’ [reads] ‘The Alchemist’
2735
=> Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages If you had the chance to listen to my recent interview with Zach First, you heard us talk about how in a time of turbulence, organizations - whether big or small - can be candles in the darkness, and how being a manager means being a barrier against tyranny. That’s all good in theory … but how do you start a movement in practice?  Thibault Manekin is a commercial real estate entrepreneur. He might not seem like my usual guest at first, but Thibault is a real estate guy, with a twist. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Thibault reads two pages from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. [reading begins at 16:05]  Hear us discuss:  “In order to grow an idea we have to understand that it doesn’t belong to us.” [8:01] | “Telling people how to be is a quick fix, but solves nothing long-term. It sticks in your head, but isn’t in your heart.” [13:08] | Chasing your dreams while also going beyond your own desires. [21:48] | Learning to surrender to your heart: “Outside of your comfort zone is the only place where true growth happens.” [26:34] | Using both your head and your heart in the work you do in an organisation. [28:37] | Staying on the path, even in dispiriting times. [35:25]
May 31, 2022
To Manage with Courage: Zach First [reads] ‘Management’
2410
=> Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages  As a reader and someone who’s been immersed in business for 30 years, I have glanced sideways at the way institutions have become such a central part of our world. Within all of these institutions, you have individuals just trying to do their best, and do work that matters. I’ve seen and felt the paradox of how institutions are totally shaped by the people within them, and yet, are also a completely separate entity. So what does it mean to be part of an organization - specifically, to be a manager?  Peter Drucker is the name most synonymous with asking this question throughout his lifetime; I do wonder how he would answer it now, in these turbulent times.  Zach First is the Executive Director of the Drucker Institute, an institution founded to carry on Drucker’s work, and to help people manage with courage. Prior to joining the Institute, Zach was the type to, ‘dutifully follow the standards of the institution to which he belonged,’ but then at a certain point, things changed, and he stopped being a follower. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Zach reads from ‘Management’ by Peter Drucker. [reading begins at 13:50]  Hear us discuss:  “Organizations are just as mysterious and complicated as the people who populate them.” [6:14] | The fight against tyranny: “The most important thing we can do is hold our institutions to the standards that we need.” [22:01] | “Management is a noble task, and one of the most important in the modern economy.” [26:13] | Making the right decisions for your institution. [26:36] | How to remain courageous. [30:40]
May 24, 2022
How to Hold Gifts of Responsibility & Grief: Stephen Jenkinson, author of ‘Die Wise’ [reads] ‘From the Republic of Conscience’
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=> Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages ‘When a man turns 30, he realizes that his life isn’t working.’  I heard this quote when I was in my thirties, and it spoke loudly to the crossroads that often occur at this moment of mid-life. When you hit your fifties, I think the question reappears - you’ve climbed your mountain, now who do you choose to be beyond that? As I’ve pondered this, I’ve been sitting with the idea of stepping into elderhood; the mentor role. Do you have an elder in your life, or are you perhaps being called, like me, to become one?  Stephen Jenkinson is someone I’ve looked up to as an elder, and he’s engaged rudely and briskly, with both life and death, having spent his time counseling dying people and their families. He’s a sculptor, a musician, a canoe builder, a sage, and the award-winning author of a favorite book of mine, Die Wise. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Stephen Jenkinson reads Seamus Heaney’s poem, ‘From the Republic of Conscience.’ [reading begins at 15:40]  Hear us discuss:  “You have to acknowledge many things about your own life that you’re less than thrilled about or proud of.” [19:35] | The nature of written law: “Lawfulness, in my mind, is principally predicated on obedience, not discernment.” [22:26] | The difference between grief and grievance: “One of the ways by which you know you are deeply and irreconcilably alive is having a capacity for grief - not to endure it, but to practise it.”  [27:21] | How to identify your burden. [33:02] | Deciding when to say ‘yes.’ [37:39]
May 17, 2022
#100 Where it All Began: Michael Bungay Stanier [reads] ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. If you’re a listener of this podcast, I believe that you love reading. My question is, do you remember where and when that seed got planted? I do, and that’s what I’m here to celebrate in today’s special 100th episode. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ by J. R. R. Tolkien. [reading begins at 7:30]  Hear him discuss:  His relationship with reading, growing up. [1:13] | “This book gave me permission to imagine.” [14:50] | How reading helps you become a better writer: “The way to become a good writer is to be a bad writer.” [16:12]
May 10, 2022
The Sacred and The Mundane: Mia Birdsong, author of ‘How We Show Up’ [reads] ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. ‘Traveller, there is no path. The path is made by walking.’  This is a quote from a poem by early 20th century Spanish poet, Antonio Machado. Though I’ve known about it for 20 years, I’ve only just given it any real thought, and I think it’s slightly subversive - disconcerting, even. Here’s what I now see in the depth of those lines: what seems obvious is not as certain as it appears, what seems built is not as solid as it appears, and what you long for is not yet built - it’s in doing the work that the world we want is created.  Mia Birdsong is someone who’s making the path by walking. She’s the author of How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, and she describes herself as a pathfinder and a facilitator on the road to social justice. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Mia reads two pages from ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. [reading begins at 19:35]  Hear us discuss:  Connecting to your longing: “Create enough presence to notice yourself.” [12:13] | Our responsibility to our gifts. [24:49] | Clearing away old stories of yourself. [31:23] | Creating and telling a new story: “Absolutely, we are meant to survive.” [33:54]
May 02, 2022
And the Walls Became the World: Chris West, author of ‘Strong Language’ [reads] ‘Where the Wild Things Are’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Picture this: King Arthur, the round table, and three knights. These knights are not the ones you’ve likely heard of; they are Sir Michael, Sir Nigel and Sir Angus - my two brothers and me. The knights ride out and encounter challenges, perils, and traps, but, with daring do and some clever thinking, they sidestep the danger. Finally, they face the dragon, and a battle of wills ensues - the three knights triumph. And now, bedtime. My dad was a great storyteller, and this was the template of a classic story he told. I love stories, I love words, and I love language.  Chris West is the author of Strong Language, and he learned his craft as a copywriter in the advertising business. Now, he helps company leaders elevate and animate the strategic vision of their business with powerful language. Like me, Chris knows there’s something magical in language and storytelling. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Chris reads two pages from ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak. [reading begins at 18:40]  Hear us discuss:  What makes a good story? [5:04] | “We’re authors of a lot more than we think is possible.” [8:44] | “The biggest world is inside of our heads.” [22:07] | Maintaining the imaginative spirit as you age. [22:47] | How to embrace difference. [25:52] | The connection between language and strategy: “Language is a way into our deepest beliefs.” [27:56]
Apr 26, 2022
[Replay] I Am Disabled But Not Broken: Christa Couture, author of ‘How to Lose Everything’ [reads] ‘Brilliant Imperfection’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Today, we're pulling one of our best episodes from the vaults, featuring the brilliant Christa Couture. We all have labels - some are given to us, and some, we give ourselves. Christa Couture says that how you word those labels can make all a difference. Christa is a brilliant woman with many labels: she’s queer, indigenous, disabled, a writer, a musician, a broadcaster, and a mother. In today’s show, she reveals how these labels do and do not define her and the pressures that come with them. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Christa reads from ‘Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure’ by Eli Clare. [reading begins at 16:30]  Hear us talk about:  Acceptance and empowerment: “My body is good enough.” [23:04] | “I am not the broken one here; it’s the ideas that are broken.” [25:55] | Moving beyond shame. [29:27]
Apr 19, 2022
Getting Better at Falling Apart: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, author of ‘Calm Within the Storm’ [reads] ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. What’s the language you go to when you think of resilience? Common answers include, ‘bouncing back,’ ‘bouncing forward,’ ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ or ‘a regathering of yourself.’ I truly believe that the words and metaphors we choose to use around resilience actually influence how accessible that resilience is, to us. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe has spent two decades researching, teaching, and advocating for simple and powerful language around resilience, and the way she puts it is beautiful; resilience is being okay.  Robyne reads two pages from ‘Man’s Search for Meaning,’ by Viktor Frankl. [reading begins at 20:35]  Hear us discuss:  “The weight of the world becomes heavy to carry with two hands.” [4:02] | Describing resilience: “Resiliency is a verb.” [6:44] | Unlearning what’s ‘normal.’ [24:49] | What to unlearn about resilience: “Stoicism is not resiliency.” [27:36] | Getting better at falling apart: “Mistakes are not characteristics.” [29:57]
Apr 12, 2022
The Countercultural Leader: Steve Morrow [reads] ‘Conscious Business’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Of the little reality surrounding us that our brain takes in, we can control almost none, and influence only an iota. At the same time, there’s a difference between actively engaging in our own lives, and when we’re opting out. In a strange way, I find the paradox liberating; I can control nothing, and I’m an active participant in my own life. The question is, how do we navigate that tension?  Steve Morrow is a friend of mine, and his role at Salesforce is focused on coaching and effective leadership. However, he didn’t start off in the human development world - in fact, he began in sales and marketing, and soon enough, began looking inside, rather than outside, at potential clients. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Steve reads two pages from ‘Conscious Business’ by Fred Kofman. [reading begins at 8:15]  Hear us discuss:  “One of life’s great challenges is living up to ourselves.” [10:31] | Having a healthy relationship with fear: “Leadership is countercultural.” [12:11] | Navigating the tension between corporate and individual values. [23:33] | Leaving behind old beliefs: “Your high standards should serve you, not rule you.” [26:35] 
Apr 05, 2022
Who do you serve?: Dave Stachowiak [reads] ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. A famous quote by Albert Schweitzer talks about how small and obscure deeds are far more powerful than public acts that receive acclaim. It goes: ‘[The public acts] were like the foam on the waves of the deep ocean.’ Applying this metaphor to the world of leadership, what’s just foam on the waves, and what’s the sinuous currents of the deep ocean?  A great podcast that I often listen to - and one that I have been a guest on four times - is Coaching for Leaders, hosted by Dave Stachowiak. This podcast is the portal for his Coaching for Leaders Academy, which helps managers and executives develop leadership excellence. Dave is someone who, I think, is a masterful surfer: he knows the foam and the waves, but he also knows the deep ocean. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Dave reads two pages from ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. [reading begins at 20:55]  Hear us discuss:  “Talk to the people listening.” [11:21] | ‘We all think we’re more polarised than we actually are.’ [26:29] | Staying present to discomfort. [30:24] | The structure of the Coaching for Leaders Academy: “We learn best when we’re struggling with something.” [37:50] | Finding struggle to keep learning: “Seeing your mistakes is one of the most important parts of the learning process.” [40:13]
Mar 29, 2022
How to Be an Outlier on the Inside: Gina Jeneroux [reads] ‘Switch’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. If you were to summarize my corporate career, the core theme would be: discovering the ways I didn’t really fit. I didn’t become an entrepreneur for all of the conventional reasons, I had simply realized that I just wasn’t that good at having a boss. This poses the question: is there a way to be a rebel and stiff flourish within a system? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Gina Jeneroux is the Chief Learning Officer at the Bank of Montreal, and she’s on a mission to change how her colleagues - and eventually, the world - learn and prepare for the future.  Gina reads two pages from ‘Switch’ by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. [reading begins at 12:10]  Hear us discuss:  “It’s not just about being different for different sake, but rather about driving a different kind of impact.” [4:02] | How to prepare for failure. [17:49] | Breaking away from formal learning. [21:27] | Different areas of skills: “The problems we need to solve in the coming years are different from the ones we’ve seen before.” [25:02] | Navigating a world full of ambiguity. [29:38] |“Our biggest limiter is ourselves.” [34:41]
Mar 22, 2022
Dancing with Ambition: Eric Zimmer [reads] ‘The Heart of Understanding’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. You might know this fable: Inside us, two wolves, fighting; two conflicting desires. Which one wins? The one you feed. I’m curious to know if you’re attuned to your two wolves right now. Who, or what, is the battle between? Obedience or rebellion, self-care or service, courage or safety, conflict or comfort? I’m Michael Bungay Stanier, and those are my wolves.  Eric Zimmer hosts a wonderful podcast - one that I’ve had the pleasure of being on, twice, - called The One You Feed, where he brings a stillness and a wise curiosity to work and stories that are often rooted in this sort of inner conflict. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Eric reads two pages from ‘The Heart of Understanding’ by Thich Nhat Hanh. [reading begins at 17:30]  Hear us discuss:  “Emptiness is better described as everything all at once.” [22:39] | The understanding of ‘non-self’: “The more I see it, the less afraid I am.” [23:32] | “Sometimes mood drives action, but action can often drive mood.” [26:30] | How to dance with ambition. [27:37] | Drawing wisdom and support from external sources. [35:10]
Mar 15, 2022
Civility & Community: Christine Porath, author of ‘Mastering Community,’ [reads] ‘Man’s Search For Meaning
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On the radio the other day, I heard something that I can’t forget: “If you’re unhappy with the state of the world, your country or your community, it is one of the greatest expressions of privilege to be able to say, ‘It’s too hard; I'll opt out. I hope somebody else sorts this out for me.’’ When I heard it, I was provoked and irritated, but also encouraged. Now, I’m really thinking hard about what it means for me to be an active part of my community - I think the times are demanding that of me. How about you?  Christine Porath is a professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. Previously, she wrote a book called Mastering Civility, and her new book is Mastering Community. She has written for Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more; but if she had her way when she was young, she would have been a sports star. The reason for her shift in career might surprise you. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Christine reads two pages from ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl. [reading begins at 16:10] Hear us discuss:  How to be a force for good. [23:50] | What it takes to master community: “We’re very quick to point the finger at others.” [31:22] | Developing a good sense of self-awareness: “Sitting down and asking people what you need to work on is helpful.” [34:17] | “Do your best to be the example of change that you want to see.” [38:17]
Mar 08, 2022
Rise up!: Todd Kashdan, author of ‘The Art of Insubordination’ [reads] ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.   With so much of the world struggling, it’s deeply tempting to throw up my hands and say, ‘It’s too hard! If someone else could sort this out for me, that would be great.’ Just the other day, I heard on the radio that it is the deepest form of privilege to say, ‘This is not my problem.’ But what can one person do to change the world? How do we find the courage to do something? Todd Kashdan’s books have always intrigued me; they intertwine academic rigor with human insight. His latest is called The Art of Insubordination. To me insubordination brings to mind rule-breakers or rebels. Todd doesn’t see it as simplistically as that; to him, there’s a proper, principled way to be insubordinate. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Todd reads two pages from ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ by Erving Goffman. [reading begins at 19:13] Hear us discuss:  Principled versus unprincipled insubordination. [8:18] | The different forms of self-presentation. [23:55] | When does efficiency take primacy over authenticity? [27:31] | Avoiding psychological exhaustion. [30:30] | Understanding your ‘dark side’: “It’s perfectly fine to experience anger and righteous indignation when we are concerned that perceived flaws in our character are the reason we’re being judged and rejected.” [33:25] | How to be a good audience member. [36:44] | Having the courage to do something: “In the long term, the suffering that accompanies the regret of inaction is so much greater than short-term moments of embarrassment and rejection.” [39:38] | “The singular acts of singular people are the cornerstones of creating large bands of people that stand up against tyranny and oppression.” [43:46]
Mar 01, 2022
In All Your Messy Glory: Naomi Shragai, author of ‘The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life’ [reads] ‘See Under: Love’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.   I’ve resisted therapy for almost all of my 54 years. What changed my mind was reading a book called Mindsight by Dan Siegel, which made me realize that therapy could not only be about fixing what’s broken, but also, around integration - who I am, and who I want to be. Naomi Shragai is a psychotherapist who’s been practicing for over 30 years. She is also a freelance journalist for The Financial Times, and author of The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life, a book whose genesis is present in the work that she does. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Naomi reads two pages from ‘See Under: Love’ by David Grossman. [reading begins at 17:37] Hear us discuss:  Navigating a relationship with a traumatized or struggling partner. [25:21] | What to do when you don’t have a clue. [26:23] | Can you be human at work?: “Work needs to acknowledge that everyone’s coming in and bringing their messy lives into the workplace; people aren’t leaving them at home.” [28:28] | “Bad things happen, we can’t deny them.” [32:14] | How leaders can make work more human. [32:18] | A conversation with an overachiever. [34:06]
Feb 22, 2022
The Search for Purpose: Arthur Brooks, Author of From Strength to Strength, [reads] ‘Meditations
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.   There’s no doubt that I am a purpose-driven person, but I can’t actually pinpoint the origin of this sense of purpose. I’m both an atheist, and an existentialist, so where does this drive of mine come from? Let me ask you - where do you find your sense of purpose?  Arthur C. Brooks is a thinker and a writer about leadership, and, more broadly, a good life. He holds academic positions at Harvard, he was previously head of a conservative think tank, and he writes a regular article in The Atlantic called ‘How to Build a Life.’ But, those are just his jobs. What’s Arthur C. Brooks Why? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Arthur reads two pages from book 4 of ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. [reading begins at 21:00]  Hear us discuss:  Discernment of your purpose. [12:41] | Mastering transgressive acts: “Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you.” [28:12] | Building I-Thou relationships: “Never use your values as a weapon, only as a gift.” [32:15] | Transitions between different strengths in life. [35:23] | What it takes to become an elder. [38:06]
Feb 15, 2022
How to be Not Perfect: Kate Berardo [reads] ‘Bird by Bird’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.   What’s your relationship with ambition? What parts of you do you want to grow? What does success look like for you, and how has that evolved over the years? What’s your relationship with perfectionism?  Kate Berardo is the Vice President of Leadership Development at Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. She likes to call herself a lifelong learner, rejecting poisonous perfectionism and keeping curiosity alive. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Kate reads two pages from ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. [reading begins at 8:30]  Hear us discuss:  “To be interesting, be interested.” [2:10] | Being kinder to yourself: “It’s inviting to have a little bit of messiness.” [13:23] | Staying curious on a large scale. [17:29] | Finding your next evolution. [20:09]
Feb 08, 2022
Announcement: One Episode Per Week
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2 Pages with MBS is going to be releasing only one new episode per week from now on. Michael explains why he has taken this tough decision and shares some exciting news listeners can look forward to soon. Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/
Feb 03, 2022
How to Be (& Not Be) Yourself: Steven D’Souza, author of Not Being [reads] ‘The Self Delusion’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.   One of my favourite words is penumbra. Its etymology is the combination of the Latin words for almost, and shadow. The word means ‘the edge of the shadow’: not quite light, not quite dark. Another favourite word is liminal - on the threshold. Some of my favourite people are those who seek out those spaces of ambiguity, uncertainty, and fluidity - people willing to dissolve the sense of who they are, currently, so they can see what emerges next.  I met Steven D’Souza at the ‘House of Beautiful Business’ conference in Lisbon, and immediately, I wanted to be his friend. He’s trained as a priest, written a trilogy of wonderful books, been the vice president for an investment bank, and the head of Learning and Development for a Fortune 500 company. When you try to piece together this career progression … it seems to make Steven more of an enigma, rather than less. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Steven reads two pages from ‘The Self Delusion’ by Tom Oliver. [reading begins at 15:20]  Hear us discuss:  Being freed from excessive individualism. [19:13] Rejecting the individualistic approach: “It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.” [21:29] Growth as a ‘teacher.’ [25:27] Deciding who to serve: “Let your life speak.” [29:20]
Feb 01, 2022
Vault: Trust is the Key: Jennifer Paylor [reads] “Leadership and Self-Deception”
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. If you can imagine a painter, musician or dancer, then you can probably bring to mind where they do their work. A place to explore, create and make ...but how is that relevant to those of us in the world of organizations and corporations? Today’s guest, Jennifer Paylor, calls herself an artist and it’s not only because she sings and writes. She is an engineer and the current Head of Learning & Development, Talent and Culture at Capgemini in North America. She believes that the work she does here is considered art, because she utilises her skills to create a harmonious environment, blurring the lines between Art and Science. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Jennifer reads from ‘Leadership and Self-Deception’ by The Arbinger Institute. [Reading begins at 10:29]  You’ll also hear us talk about:  Being ‘in the box.’ [14:04] | Staying present to humanity in difficult conversations. [20:24] | “People talk in symptoms. There is a need somewhere, even if they don’t articulate it.” [21:21] | Culture hacking. [21:55] | Building influence in new organisations. [24:39] | Intellectual humility. [26:36] | “Trust is the key to human growth.” [30:58]
Jan 27, 2022
Vault: Killing Your Ego: Riaz Meghji, author of ‘Every Conversation Counts,’ [reads] “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. The pandemic has brought about an epidemic of loneliness. Human connection expert, Riaz Meghji is here to talk about fixing it. Riaz has 17 years of experience in broadcast television, covering current affairs, sports, entertainment, politics and business. In this episode, he shares insights he acquired along the way about retaining humility in an industry where big egos easily develop, and the importance of candid conversation. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Riaz reads from the book ‘Everyone Communicates, Few Connect’ by John C. Maxwell, explaining that he has always been fascinated by the art of how and why we connect. [reading begins at 5:45]  Furthermore, you’ll hear MBS and Riaz discuss:  The book’s impact on Riaz [9:55] | Arrogance as an interviewer [11:24] | Establishing connection and trust [14:02] | Perfecting one’s craft while remaining humble [19:04] | Navigating and evoking emotion [26:05]  
Jan 25, 2022
Vault: How to be a Moral Leader: Sandra Sucher, author of The Power of Trust [reads] ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. During the first phase of the pandemic I experimented with a type of online gathering, which I called Cocktails and Questions. After getting myself a cocktail, five people in my circle would gather, and we all had six minutes to reflect on a question I had sent them the day before; they would talk without interruption. The question I had sent was designed to provoke reflection, vulnerability, and insight. One of my favourite questions was this: What are you holding on to, and why? Woven into that question is the insight that once we’ve taken hold of something, we become committed to it, often to an extent that’s irrational, and one that no longer serves us. This applies to companies we love as well: it’s hard to let go of the brands we’re committed to. Sandra Sucher is the Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, and author of a new book: The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It. Smart companies use the power of trust to keep their customers committed to them. How? Here’s a hint: moral reasoning. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Sandra reads two pages from ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’ by Richard Rhodes. [reading begins at 14:05]  Hear us discuss: What it takes to nurture moral courage. [21:54] | Navigating different morality: “Assume good intent.” [27:03] | Refining your understanding of moral leadership. [28:42] | Being a moral leader in a flawed system: “It’s always possible to be a moral leader.” [35:29] | Welcoming moral leadership in an organisation. [36:52]
Jan 20, 2022
Vaults: The Dilemmas of a CEO: Dig Howitt [reads] ‘In Search of Excellence'
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the CEO of a massive company? What do you do? What do you worry about? Michael Bungay Stanier is joined by his friend Dig Howitt, CEO and President of Cochlear, a medical device company that helps people hear and be heard. They have a conversation about modern business and what makes a company successful. Dig shares the responsibilities and difficulties that accompany his position as a high-ranking officer, and offers advice that he utilises to ensure he continues to grow and learn as a leader. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Dig selected the book ‘In Search of Excellence’ by Tom J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. [reading begins at 4:25]  MBS and Dig Howitt discuss:  The book’s impact on Dig [8:27] | Leadership versus management [10:48] | The relationship between strategy and culture [12:15] | Being a follower and a leader [14:10] | Improving failure capacity within a company [17:30] | Building a strong leadership team [21:00] | Diverse views within a team [23:15]
Jan 18, 2022
How to Begin VI: Who Are You Travelling With with Jesse Finkelstein, Co-Founder of Page Two
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. It’s launch week for How to Begin. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this book - mostly love - for about a year and a half, so it’s pretty exciting to finally stumble into the sunlight, blinking and going, “It’s arrived! It’s here!” And that’s why today’s guest is so perfect; Jesse Finkelstein is the co-founder of Page Two, the company who published and partnered with me for this book, and The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap, as well. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 8:15] Hear us discuss:  ‘Unicorn business partners’: “If you can find a wonderful partner, it’s everything, but can also be the worst thing.” [3:45] | “I found it very freeing once I gave myself permission to not only hold onto the people who would support me on the journey, but to abandon the people and structures that would weigh me down.” [12:36] | Finding the courage to say ‘no’ and dealing with the aftermath: “It’s often to everyone’s benefit if you’re able to look honestly at a relationship or structure, and let it go.” [13:18] 
Jan 13, 2022
Why I Wrote How to Begin
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. Today is January 11th, 2022 - it is the day my new book, How to Begin: Start Doing Something That Matters, actually arrives in the world. This is probably no surprise to you, because I have been mentioning it on the podcast; so, today, I thought I’d bring you a short, but hard-hitting, interview with the author. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Welcome to 2 Pages with MBS! This is the podcast where Michael interviews Michael, about Michael’s book. You’ll hear him talk about: Trialing the epiphany, “Hey, I might be a writer.” [1:34] | Why write about goals? [3:37] | The ambition for this book. [6:03]
Jan 11, 2022
Vaults: How (and why) to be good-ish: Dolly Chugh, author of ‘The Person You Mean to Be’, [reads] ‘A More Beautiful and Terrible History’
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In anticipation of the new book’s launch in January, we’re reaching into the vaults to pull the best episodes for you. Want to preorder? Go to HowToBegin.com On a scale of 1-10, how good of a person are you? Yeah, tricky question. And even trickier: Is the person you think you are the same as the person who actually shows up, day-to-day, in life? Dolly Chugh, as well as being one of my favourite people, is a professor of social psychology at the NYU Stern School of Business, and author of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. Dolly has made it her goal to speak to those of us who label ourselves as good people but may not realise how our unconscious biases affect the way we function. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Dolly reads from A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis. [reading begins at 12:13] Hear us discuss:  Addressing systemic bias: “Unlearning what we know and learning what’s correct makes it easier to see the systems around us.” [21:50] | Learning to unlearn: the ‘paradox mindset.’ [25:09] | Counteracting simple narratives: “You don’t have to believe only one thing.” [28:17]
Jan 06, 2022
How to Begin V: Remembering Your Best Qualities with Eric Klein
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. I was in a mastermind group for about 15 years - we were a gathering of people who had something in common, but there was also a lot we didn’t have in common. An enduring friendship from that time is the one I have with Eric Klein, someone who is very precious to me, someone I love having in my life, and someone who’s just a mensch. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 6:35] Hear us discuss:  “There is an individual greatness that you are here to incarnate, express, and live out.” [11:23] | Owning your qualities. [11:58] | The shadowy side of qualities: “The quality will not care how it comes about, it’s gonna follow the architecture of your psyche into the world.” [14:36]
Jan 04, 2022
Vaults: You are Predictably Imperfect: Katy Milkman, author of ‘How to Change’, [reads] 'Nudge'
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In anticipation of the new book’s launch in January, we’re reaching into the vaults to pull the best episodes for you. Want to preorder? Go to HowToBegin.com The belief that we have free will and that we are in charge of what goes on around us is mostly an illusion. Our decisions are rarely our own. For good or ill, most times we are nudged into ways of behaving. Author and Professor of Behavioural Science, Katy Milkman, joins me to talk about the science of getting where you want to be and how to use the insight that we are predictably imperfect to make better decisions. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Katy reads from ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’ by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. [reading begins at 09:14] Hear us talk about: Myths about behaviour change: 'There is no "one size fits all" approach to changing behaviour.' [4:27] | How to ethically think about being a 'choice architect.' [16:25] | The nuances of paternalism. [20:11] | How to inoculate yourself against manipulation that is not in your best interest: 'Knowledge and context should shape all decisions.' [22:23] | Insights around behaviour change and how it works: 'Rigidity in expectations will be our downfall.' [27:00] | How Katy's thinking on behaviour change has evolved over the years. [32:45]
Dec 30, 2021
Vaults: Hope For Tomorrow: Roman Krznaric, Author of ‘The Good Ancestor’ and ‘How to Find Fulfilling Work’, [reads] “Basin and Range”
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In anticipation of the launch of Michael’s new book, we’re reaching into the vaults to pull the best episodes for you. Want to preorder? Go to HowToBegin.com This won’t, unfortunately, be news to you: Each year, we consume the resources of 1.6 planet earths. We’re diminishing the environment, exhausting biological capital … and heading towards, well, who really knows... Is there hope? Yes. Is it up to you? Yes, at least partially. And where do we begin? By understanding what it takes to be a good ancestor. Practical philosopher, Roman Krznaric, joins Michael Bungay Stanier for a conversation about preserving our planet by adopting a long-term way of thinking that will not only benefit us but succeeding generations as well. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Roman reads pages from John McPhee’s book ‘Basin and Range.’ [reading begins at 7:25]         Hear Michael and Roman talk about:  Channeling your anger into constructive action. [12:31] | Being a ‘good ancestor.’ [15:06] | “We can change our habits,” Roman says. [22:13] | “Nothing in nature grows forever.” [25:30] | Activists’ responses to Roman’s book and the concept of long-term thinking. [26:52] | “Take care of the place that will take care of our offspring.” [31:03]
Dec 28, 2021
How to Begin IV: Taking Small Steps with Ainsley Brittain
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Ainsley Brittain is my co-conspirator at MBS.works; pretty much the other half of the company. She’s a lovely person, friend, and colleague, and since we are both full-time, full-hearted, and full-brained workers on this project, Ainsley has actually influenced the book, making her the perfect guest for today’s ‘How To Begin’ episode. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 4:30] Hear us discuss:  Mitigating risk: “Data is so grounding.” [8:18] | Learning to trust yourself. [12:10] | “When you commit to that process and loosen your grip on the outcome you’re hoping for, you’re more likely to get where you’re supposed to be.” [14:47] | The Conspiracy - MBS.works [15:04]
Dec 23, 2021
Vaults: How to be World-Positive: Swati Mylavarapu [reads] ‘Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass’
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In anticipation of the launch of Michael’s new book, we’re reaching into the vaults to pull the best episodes for you. Want to preorder? Go to HowToBegin.com  We are all investors. Whether it concerns our time, our focus or our money, we choose where we want to put it. When you invest, the first question always asked is ‘What is the rate of return?’ What if the question was ‘What does the most good?’ In this episode, Swati Mylavarapu introduces us to her values-based venture capital fund and discusses the significance of humanising the workplace beyond an aim for profit and technological advancement. Swati is co-founder of Incite.org, a brilliant strategist and a forceful good in the world.  Swati reads two pages from ‘Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass’ by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri. [reading begins at 16:20] Hear us talk about: What ‘world-positive’ means from an investment standpoint: ‘Being an investor requires being a concerned and active citizen.’ [2:30] | What Swati offers as a non-traditional venture capitalist. [7:11] | Building and shaping new technology ventures. [22:01] | What influences investment decisions? [24:23] | The value-based diligence process when picking companies to invest in. [25:28] | The modern meaning of ‘work.’ [29:25]
Dec 21, 2021
How to Begin III: Pursuing ‘You 2.0’ with Jenny Blake, author of ‘Free Time’
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Writing a book can be lonely, scary, and confusing, but one of the things that has been brilliant about writing How To Begin is my friend, Jenny Blake. She’s been a friend of mine for many years now, and I feel like our friendship has only deepened within the last year. Since we think similarly, we’ve been encouraging each other to write a book, and when I thought of the small number of people I’d love to preview my new book, Jenny was an unmissable top-of-the-list person; she’s been with me all the way. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 7:50] Hear us discuss:  The intimidation of making a big leap. [12:29] | “It’s harder to read the label from inside the jar.” [14:39] | A lucky amateur?: “It takes ten years to become an overnight success.” [17:26] | “Plans are useless, but planning is useful.” [19:07] | The pursuit of ‘you 2.0’ [21:34]
Dec 16, 2021
A Guide to Empathy: Peter Bregman, author of ‘You Can Lead Other People’ [reads] ‘The Invitation’ x ‘The Guest House’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. When I was in Lisbon recently, I had one of those lovely moments of meeting a kindred spirit. It’s not the same as meeting someone who’s interesting or lovely, instead, there’s a recognition of ‘you and I, we are similarly weird and interesting.’ I gave Steven D’Souza my book, and he gave me his new book, Not Being. It’s a great book that tries to navigate similar big questions that I mull over. In one section, he wrote: “Now I find more truth in poetry than in prose; in nature than in classrooms. I’ve come to the point where I’m tired of the narrative of development, and exhausted by the imperative for self-improvement. I’m ending the search. I want to enjoy life on the other side of these personal development projects.”  You don’t typically hear the first question I ask my guests; Who are you, what’s your story? Sometimes people plunge into that with gusto, sometimes there’s a bit of a nervous laugh - but Peter Bregman sat with this question longer than most of us, and revealed that he’s more than his résumé of being a coach, teacher, and author. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Peter reads two poems; ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer [reading begins at 11:40], and ‘The Guest House’ by Rumi. [reading begins at 14:40] Hear us discuss:  “I live my life in relation to emotion.” [16:51] | Continuing to be ambitious after achievements. [18:22] | You Can Change Other People: “We all are learning how to be honest without learning how to be helpful.” [20:46] | Acknowledging and responding to struggle: “If you can’t empathise, you will never be an ally.” [23:55] 
Dec 14, 2021
How to Begin II: Connect to Your Best Self with Octavia Goredema, author of ‘Prep, Push, Pivot’
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Octavia Goredema is many things; a British woman thriving in LA, a career coach, a champion for women, and a Member of the British Empire. You may be familiar with her, as she’s been on this podcast before. We met when she wrote me an email complimenting one of my books, and we’ve enjoyed a precious friendship, since then. I only hope that she has more nice things left to say about my writing. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 3:30] Hear us discuss:  What it takes to be your best self: “It’s a strikingly simple, but powerful concept. There’s no right or wrong way.” [7:31] | Returning to your best self. [8:51] | Connecting to joy: “At the end of each month, I do a lot of reflection on how I felt, what I learnt, and my final perspective.” [11:53]
Dec 09, 2021
How to Face Resistance: Loran Nordgren, co-author of ‘The Human Element’, [reads] ‘My Grandmother’s Love Letters’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. We’ve probably all had the experience of someone else resisting one of our brilliant ideas. Do you remember how that feels - not being seen or heard? You know what’s almost as irritating, perhaps even more so? When you’re the person resisting your own good idea; you team up with the status quo to back away from this opportunity to unlock your greatness.  Loran Nordgren is a teacher at the Kellogg School of Management, and the co-author of the book The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas, because there are endless reasons why new ideas are not immediately embraced. As a co-author, he joins me in this episode to share how he turned the medium into the message. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Loran reads the poem ‘My Grandmother’s Love Letters’ by Hart Crane. [reading begins at 10:30] Hear us discuss:  “There is deep, incredible promise in collaboration.” [2:46] | “I often feel that we are strangers to almost all generations and things past.” [13:05] | The evolution of connecting with people as you age. [14:15] | Having a healthy relationship with the status quo: “People need time to acclimate to new ideas.” [16:56] | Managing anxiety as a creator. [29:00]
Dec 07, 2021
How to Begin I: Prizes & Punishments with Mark Bowden, author of ‘Truth & Lies’
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Mark Bowden and I have known each other for at least 15 years. He’s a great friend, and a wonderful host, plus he’s written a number of books including Truth and Lies, a title I helped him come up with. And Mark has helped me brainstorm titles for my books as well, so who better than one of my dearest friends to join me in kicking off this new series? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Michael reads two pages from his upcoming book, ‘How To Begin.’ [reading begins at 4:15] Hear us discuss:  The complexity of prizes and punishments: “If you’re getting into a relationship of any worth, you’ve got to expect ups and downs.” [7:41] | Applying the ‘prize and punishment’ way of thinking to everyday life. [11:15] | Scenario planning: The infatuation stage. [12:07]
Dec 02, 2021
When to Wave the Purple Flag: Kim Scott, author of ‘Radical Candor’ and ‘Just Work’, [reads] ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’
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Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com. ‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,’ is a quote I often come back to. It reminds me that we’re creatures of the systems in which we exist. We are defined by our relationships, both inside and outside of work. The question I sit with is: What’s needed to find, carve out, and fight for freedom, justice, and dignity - not just for you, but more provocatively, for others? What do you do, when you uncover and decide to own your biases and prejudices?  If you’ve ever worked in an organisation and thought that you could probably do a better job of getting or giving feedback, you may have heard of my guest: Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor, and a wonderful new book called Just Work. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Kim reads two pages from ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl. [reading begins at 10:50] Hear us discuss:  The perpetrator versus victim perspective. [17:49] | Is freedom a double-edged sword? [20:06] | Owning and moving beyond victimhood. [22:50] | The public response to Just Work: “Bias is not meaning it, prejudice is meaning it, and bullying is being mean.” [24:06] | The proper response to having your bias interrupted: “You can’t do right if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.” [27:25] | How effective is ‘cancel culture’?: “We are pattern makers, and we can change the pattern.” [29:13]
Nov 30, 2021
How to Resist Cynicism: Michael Bachelard, Deputy Editor of The Age [reads] ‘Bliss’
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I had a few nicknames growing up; Flat Stanier after the book series Flat Stanley, which was shortened to Flat Stan, and eventually, just Stan. One of my best friends through high school and university was also a ‘Michael,’ and one of his early nicknames was Davros, a villain from Doctor Who, but in the end, Michael Bachelard just became Bach.  Michael Bachelard is now an award-winning author and journalist. He’s a deputy editor and investigations editor at The Age in Australia - one of the country’s top 3 newspapers. Michael, like me, has come a long way, but, for him, that was always the plan. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Michael reads two pages from ‘Bliss’ by Peter Carey. [reading begins at 12:55]  Hear us discuss:  Being intrigued by the world: “If you’re not angry, you’re not looking, and if you’re not righteous, you’re not hoping to do something about it.” [21:09] | How to keep an open heart. [22:58] | Assembling the puzzle: an editor’s job. [29:13] | Staying on course: “Tell people what they need to know in the most compelling and transparent way you can.” [31:30]
Nov 25, 2021
How to Engage with Reality: Susan Weinschenk, Author of ‘100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People’ [reads] ‘Beyond Happiness’
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One of my first business trips was to Scotland, and it was more like a nightmare rather than a dream come true. I was there because a big soup company wanted me to come up with their next soup sub-brand, and we all know that good stuff happens by finding a way to sit down and talk to people.  I could have used Susan Weinschenk’s help back then because she is an expert in human behaviour and what makes us tick. She’s got a PhD in Psychology, has a number of books under her belt, including 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, and is the Chief Behavioral Scientist and CEO at The Team W. Susan calls herself a ‘science nerd,’ and she’s been like this since way back when. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Susan reads two pages from ‘Beyond Happiness’ by Ezra Bayda. [reading begins at 15:55]  Hear us discuss:  “You’ve got to own this story.” [9:10] | The idea of happiness. [20:04] | Understanding reality. [24:29] | Our cognitive biases. [27:51] | How to make better decisions: “Let your unconscious do its thing.” [30:55]
Nov 23, 2021
Why Greed is Dead: John Kay, author of ‘Obliquity’ and ‘Radical Uncertainty’, [reads] ‘The Secret of Our Success’
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Briefly, at The Australian National University, I was a member of AIESEC, an international group of economics students. There were good moments, but I eventually had the realisation that these weren’t really my people; they just didn’t have a similar lens on the world, to me. So, I assumed that all economists were the same, until a few years ago when I read a wonderful book called Obliquity. It was wise, grounded, human, provocative, and had, at its heart, the insight that we rarely figure out - the hard, complex things - and it was written by an economist.  After some time in academia, John Kay realised that he possessed a unique skill, one that was uncommon in the typical economist. John has already appeared on this podcast, featured as an author in someone else’s read. He’s a British economist, and truthfully, a philosopher. He is what a real influencer looks and sounds like. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  John reads two pages from ‘The Secret of Our Success’ by Joseph Henrich. [reading begins at 11:15]  Hear us discuss:  The significance of social learning in the world: “You’ll never see two chimpanzees carrying a log together.” [16:52] | The process of shifting foundational beliefs: “It’s not that they’re worse people, it’s that the environment in which they operate has been a different one.” [18:12] | Finding inspiration and hope. [22:47] | Reducing polarisation. [24:39]
Nov 18, 2021
Rebooting Democracy: DeNora Getachew, CEO of DoSomething.org, [reads] ‘Caste’
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Where did we get this idea of ‘the youth will save us’? What a burden for them, and what a cop-out for us. Of course, young people can be brilliant, ambitious, and capable of extraordinary things … if we let them. However, we mustn’t forget that we, too, need to be a force for change.  DeNora Getachew is the CEO of DoSomething.org, an organisation that helps youth engage for social impact, to make today and tomorrow better places. But the foundation for DeNora’s work doesn’t begin with youth, it’s more fundamental than that - it’s about democracy. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  DeNora reads two pages from ‘Caste’ by Isabel Wilkerson. [reading begins at 14:10]  Hear us discuss:  Navigating inside and outside power. [23:13] | The tokenization of youth activism: “Activate young people to understand that democracy is for them, and that even if they distrust the system, they must learn how to leverage the system to get the change they seek.” [26:40] | What to stop doing. [30:21] | “Young people are unapologetic about being the beneficiaries of the change they seek in their lifetime.” [32:04] | A role model for activism. [32:35]
Nov 16, 2021
How to Love the Unknown: Sarah Stein Greenberg, author of ‘Creative Acts for Curious People’, [reads] ‘The Sixth Extinction’
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One of the influences on my life is a man called Simon Bailey. He was a visualiser; he’d show up with his box of coloured pens and paper, and as I tried to describe the ideas and solutions bubbling in my brain, he’d draw them. That would spark new ideas for me, which I’d try to build on, and we would do this dance of imagination and creativity together. I’m only realising this now, but he’s one of the ways I came to understand that one of the most powerful ways to show up in the world is to stay curious, just a little bit longer.  Sarah Stein Greenberg is the Executive Director of d.school in Stanford, and the author of a wonderful new book: Creative Acts for Curious People. Her job, though, really is a paradox; to both unleash and contain creativity. But maybe that’s the nature of design, because in some ways, design is how creativity learns how to dance. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Sarah reads two pages from ‘The Sixth Extinction’ by Elizabeth Kolbert. [reading begins at 18:35] Hear us discuss:  Resisting closure; sustaining a long hunch: “The ability to resist premature closure is one of the core skills you acquire with strong creative practice.” [26:09] | Productive struggle and uncertainty: “If you’re not having those moments of struggle, then you’re probably not working on something that is likely to result in something new, innovative, or meaningful.” [29:05] | Sitting with your feelings. [34:18]
Nov 11, 2021
Living in Two Worlds: Tope Folarin, author of ‘A Particular Type of Black Man’ [reads] ‘The Half-Finished Heaven’
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At the ANU Law School, I wrote a thesis about applying English Literature theory to reading laws: ‘How have what we learnt about reading the texts in the world of Shakespeare, Patrick White, and Jane Austen, tell us about how we might read legal texts?’ No one understood it, I barely understood it, and I was writing the thing! I knew there was something there, but at the boundary where these two worlds met, I had a sputtering candle against the mist and darkness, and it didn’t throw much light.  Tope Folarin is a far better navigator than I am. He’s a man who has crossed boundaries and transcends worlds; a creator and an author who has won numerous prizes for his short stories. Not only that, he’s also a leader in the world of social policy, being the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies. These are different worlds, but Tope has found a way to contain multitudes. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Tope reads two pages from ‘The Half-Finished Heaven’ by Tomas Tranströmer. [reading begins at 13:40] Hear us discuss:  “I am the place where creation is working on itself.” [15:17] | Surviving the pace and ambition of the material world: How to sit and wait. [18:51] |Finding the time to nurture creativity. [22:56] | How literature influences leadership: “I have walked in so many shoes, thought so many thoughts that don’t originate from my head, and when I’m sitting in front of people trying to articulate a new perspective, I can draw on these great ideas, thoughts, and emotions that I’ve gleaned from years and years of reading literature.” [24:20]
Nov 09, 2021
How to Build Something: Seth Levine, author of ‘The New Builders’, [reads] ‘Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital’
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I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I started Box of Crayons about twenty years ago because I had just been fired from the job I had, and I was slowly coming to realise that I was largely unemployable - not because I didn’t have some skills, but because I wasn’t good with bosses and hierarchy. I’m also a barely-adequate entrepreneur. Both companies I’ve started have had some success, and just keeping a company going for twenty years is commendable. But I’m not going to be making an appearance on Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den anytime soon. The truth of it is that I don’t think I’m an entrepreneur at all. It’s too loaded and fancy a word, and sort of implies that I’m trying to create a billion-dollar business. Maybe I’m just confused - what is an entrepreneur, anyway?  Seth Levine is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, right at the heart of being and thinking about entrepreneurship. I think you’ll find Seth to be a little different from your typical Silicon Valley tech guru. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Seth reads two pages from ‘Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital’ by Carlota Perez. [reading begins at 16:08] Hear us discuss:  “There are lots of people who have great business ideas, but don’t have the capital to start their businesses.” [25:00] | What makes a new founder? [26:00] | Finding the balance between purpose and profit. [28:52] | Misconceptions of entrepreneurship. [33:31] | Being a good ally: “A lot of people in power don’t think about their ability to affect other people by extending their network.” [36:33]
Nov 04, 2021
The Powerful Pause: Juliet Funt, author of ‘A Minute to Think’ [reads] ‘When Things Fall Apart’
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It irks me to confess this, but I am still in thrall to my to-do list. I’ve been writing about how not to be busy for 20 years, and I have thoroughly, completely, and annoyingly failed to take my own advice. The truth is, I get a rush from getting stuff done, and believe me, I’m aware of the irony. The thing people thank me for is not my tasking, but my thinking; figuring stuff out, me trying to make more complicated ideas more useful, more practical, more accessible, and I do that with a pen and paper, and a minute to think. How about you, do you do a good job at thinking, mulling, musing, playing, creating, exploring? If you’ve got that sorted, I salute you.  I met Juliet Funt when she was speaking at a conference, and being a decent speaker and presenter myself, I’m always delighted when someone puts on a brilliant performance. Juliet put on that performance, and turns out she’s just as fun and smart off the stage, as she is on it. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Juliet reads two pages from ‘When Things Fall Apart’ by Pema Chödrön. [reading begins at 13:40] Hear us discuss:  Softening and managing busyness: “We have been using busyness to numb and avoid softness.” [16:39] | The anxiety of getting unbusy: “Give yourself a structure, but write it in pencil.” [20:57] | Finding the work that matters: The thief of activity. [24:04]
Nov 02, 2021
Whose Side Are You On?: David Gardner author of ‘The Motley Fool’ [reads] ‘The Pickwick Papers’
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I’m a reader. Not only do I love books, I love to read them in an old-school way: my eyes and the book’s pages in front of me. But, it occurred to me that the really old-school way of reading books is to be a listener. The truth is, some books just shine when they’re read out loud.  David Gardner is the co-founder of The Motley Fool, the organisation that prides itself on the practice of conscious capitalism, a concept that seeks to elevate humanity through business. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  David reads two pages from ‘The Pickwick Papers’ by Charles Dickens. [reading begins at 13:45]  Hear us discuss:  Bringing people together: “State what you stand for, live it, and fight against the things that undermine it.” [21:36] | Counteracting whitewashing. [26:24] | Balancing individual values and playing the bigger game: “The only ethical framework that makes sense is when everybody wins, not win-lose, or lose-win.” [29:12]
Oct 28, 2021
Hands and Feet Community: Pamela Slim, author of ‘The Widest Net’ and ‘Body of Work’ [reads] ‘Bird by Bird’
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When my wife, Marcella, retired from Box of Crayons about three years ago, she spent a bit of time feeling her way into what retirement means. But, a year or so ago, she totally found her groove; she’s become part of a brilliant group of smart, funny, make-your-path-in-this-world women, and she’s having a great time. I have to admit, I do look on with a little envy. Sure, I have people I see, talk to, and hang out with, but I don’t have this thing that she has - community. So, where do you find your people, and, how do you gather them?  Pamela Slim is a coach and fellow author; her newest book is The Widest Net, and I think it’s her best yet. However, I think her real genius lies in community-building. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Pamela reads two pages from ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. [reading begins at 12:25] Hear us discuss:  Connecting to the wonder of the world. [15:18] | A writer’s sense of self and craft: “Call the book in.” [17:47] | The Widest Net. [24:25] | Decentering as a privileged person: “The work itself is the thing that guides you. If it’s your own ego, then we’ll all get lost.” [27:38]
Oct 26, 2021
What Technology Promises: Azeem Azhar, author of ‘The Exponential Age’, [reads] ‘The Nature of Technology’
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Sometimes it’s just hard to wrap your head around science. How old the planet is, is actually impossible to really grasp; the Tyrannosaurus rex is closer in time to the iPhone, than it is to the Stegosaurus. Five hundred million years is just … unimaginably vast. So, too with exponential growth. Humans are wired to understand linear, but critical to our survival and understanding our current world, is the need to wrap our heads around exponential. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Azeem Azhar is a speaker, an entrepreneur, a podcaster, and the author of the new book Exponential. Azeem reads two pages from ‘The Nature of Technology’ by W. Brian Arthur. [reading begins at 11:15] Hear us discuss:  Prosperity versus unease in work: “To not go forward is to go backward.” [16:20] | Understanding Exponential: Talking about Azeem’s book. [18:03] | The most radical idea in the book: “I found myself concluding that we needed more common or collectivist approaches to key issues.” [22:06] | Allowing commonality to emerge. [24:34] | Complicated problems, simple answers: “The outcomes we get will only be as good as the work we put in.” [36:34]
Oct 21, 2021
How to Thrive: Liz Wiseman, author of ‘Multipliers’ and ‘Impact Players’ [reads] ‘The Road to Character’
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My surname is Bungay Stanier. It used to be just Stanier, but when I got married back in 1995, Marcella and I combined our surnames. ‘Stanier Bungay’ was never going to work, so, Bungay Stanier it was - and so it remains. When people get my surname right, there’s not much expectation that it’s a clue to who I am, where I’m from, or what I do.  But that’s not the case with my guest today; her surname and how she shows up in the world appear to be a perfect fit. Liz Wiseman is a unique presence in the management and leadership development world, and a wonderful author. She’s justly celebrated for her book Multipliers, and undoubtedly will be for her current book that’s just coming out, Impact Players. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Liz reads two pages from ‘The Road to Character’ by David Brooks. [reading begins at 16:14] Hear us discuss:  What does life want from us?: “Magic happens when you have just enough capability to say ‘yes’ and start a project, but not enough capability to finish it.” [22:02]  | Managing a plethora of choices: Recognising native genius and ‘blanket no’s. [25:45] | Impact Players: “Amazing things happen when you figure out what the agenda is, and then you work on it.” [32:26]
Oct 19, 2021
How to Remember (and How to Forget): Scott A. Small, author of ‘Forgetting’ [reads] ‘Funes the Memorious’
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What’s the clearest memory you have of something from a while ago? I’ve got a few flash moments that come to mind right away, but the truth is, I remember more of a feeling than I do the details, and I’m not even totally sure of the details I do remember. What if you remembered everything perfectly? Would that be amazing, or would it be onerous? My memory only gets dodgier day by day, as time ticks on. Sometimes I worry about it, and sometimes I remember that forgetting is one of the great adaptive strategies of life. Dr. Scott A. Small is a brain mechanic; a physician who treats pathological memory disorders like Alzheimer’s, and helps people manage the terrible disease. He’s a man who celebrates the benefits of forgetting, so much that he even wrote a book about it. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Scott reads two pages from ‘Funes the Memorious’ by Jorge Luis Borges. [reading begins at 11:45] Hear us discuss:  The freedom of forgetting: “You have to forget to forgive.” [21:06] | How to actively forget. [25:03] | Sustaining precious memories: “We need our memories to be ourselves.” [27:27] | Societal benefits of forgetting. [34:34]
Oct 14, 2021
How to Hold a Flower: Muriel Wilkins, author of ‘Own the Room’ [reads] ‘The Untethered Soul’
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I’ve just come back from a run. Today is a beautiful autumn day, and yet I missed most of it. It wasn’t just that I was experiencing the pain of restarting exercise, it was that I was in my head the whole time; thinking about work, thinking about the new book and how to launch it, thinking about all sorts of stuff. Trying to figure it all out, and in doing so, missing the glory of it all. Here’s the thing, sometimes the secret to a good life is realising that it’s not all figure-out-able. Yes, you are at the center of your world, but at the same time, the world continues to turn, regardless.  Muriel Wilkins is the author of Own the Room, but she’s best known as the host of a podcast for Harvard Business Review called Coaching Real Leaders, where she coaches real executives in real-time for the whole world to hear. Today, she shares her expertise on a different podcast, with me, and all of you. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Muriel reads two pages from ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Alan Singer. [reading begins at 12:50] Hear us discuss:  Being present in the world of work: “I tell my clients, ‘I’m not here to take your challenges away, I’m here to help you lead with a little more ease.’” [21:12] | Letting go of resistance. [25:06] | Living with ambition: “If you hold a rose too tightly, it will eventually die, and in the process, you’ll bleed also.” [27:47] | The source of Muriel’s ambition. [32:01]
Oct 12, 2021
To Read Is to Change: David A. Robertson, author of ‘The Barren Grounds’ and ‘The Great Bear’ [reads] ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’
2218
If you’re listening to this podcast, my bet is that you, like me, are a reader. You love a good book, and if you’re lucky, you’ve loved them all your life because someone introduced the power of stories to you. My parents read to me when I was young, but the real gateway drug for me was my dad making up stories. As a reader, I followed the conventional path. I started with kids’ books and moved on to what would be called ‘YA’ now, then diving into Literature in high school, and eventually moving on to attain both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Literature at university. For someone who is happily child-free, I read a lot of Young Adult literature. In part, it’s because my wife trained as a YA librarian, so she’s always finding great books, but also just because they’re great books! It takes a certain gift to write a book that’s brilliant for children and young adults, and grown-ups, like me. The very best of these books are wise, timeless, and fearless.  David A. Robertson is one of those people who can write for young people. I mean, he can really write for young people. He’s won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, and the Indigenous Writer of the Year Award at the High Plains Book Awards. Acknowledging these accolades is easy, but the same can’t be said for pinning down his genre. So far, he’s published over 25 books across multiple genres and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  David reads two pages from ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce. [reading begins at 8:45] Hear us discuss:  David’s watershed moment. [13:56] | “I thought, ‘This needs to be out into the world. If no one’s gonna do it, I’ll do it.’ Then I wrote it.” [19:19] | A writer’s relationship with time: “I realised that creating change in the work that I have will take a long time.”  [20:30] | The change David wants his work to bring about in the world.  [24:51] | The importance of having a strong support system on difficult journeys. [26:54] | Figuring out what to read next. [29:34]
Oct 07, 2021
Feeling all the Feelings: Kristoffer “KC” Carter, author of ‘Permission to Glow’, [reads] ‘Autobiography Of A Yogi’
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We don’t know about matter. 96% of the universe’s mass is unaccounted for. We don’t understand consciousness either. No one is really sure why or how consciousness works. We don’t even understand time - we don’t know when or how the universe began, and we’re not even clear how it will end. There are theories for all these phenomena, but nobody is quite sure. Spirituality is not an exact alternative to science, but it does seem separate from science. I’ve considered myself an atheist for many years; nonetheless, I find myself spending a lot of time with people who have a more grounded, less performative sense of spirituality, which I’m curious about. So, what does it mean to someone who’s made spirituality the very foundation of their life?  KC, short for Kristoffer Carter, is a coach for C-suite executives and start-up founders. Since becoming a coach, his true focus is on mindset - mindset that flows from spirituality. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Kristoffer reads two pages from ‘Autobiography Of A Yogi’ by Yogananda Paramahamsa. [reading begins at 10:30] Hear us discuss:  “I never really started out to find the spiritual path, it kinda found me.” [4:09] | Connecting to your power. [16:58] | “Feel all the feelings”: What does it mean? [18:37] | How burdens help shape us. [21:30] | KC’s book and why he chose the world ‘glow.’ [23:57] | Glowing in the light: Recruiting allies and building community. [27:34] | Making change less of a burden. [30:04]
Oct 05, 2021
How to be a Moral Leader: Sandra Sucher, author of The Power of Trust [reads] ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’
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During the first phase of the pandemic I experimented with a type of online gathering, which I called Cocktails and Questions. After getting myself a cocktail, five people in my circle would gather, and we all had six minutes to reflect on a question I had sent them the day before; they would talk without interruption. The question I had sent was designed to provoke reflection, vulnerability, and insight. One of my favourite questions was this: What are you holding on to, and why? Woven into that question is the insight that once we’ve taken hold of something, we become committed to it, often to an extent that’s irrational, and one that no longer serves us. This applies to companies we love as well: it’s hard to let go of the brands we’re committed to. Sandra Sucher is the Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, and author of a new book: The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It. Smart companies use the power of trust to keep their customers committed to them. How? Here’s a hint: moral reasoning. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/    Sandra reads two pages from ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’ by Richard Rhodes. [reading begins at 13:20]  Hear us discuss: What it takes to nurture moral courage. [21:09] | Navigating different morality: “Assume good intent.” [26:18] | Refining your understanding of moral leadership. [27:57] | Being a moral leader in a flawed system: “It’s always possible to be a moral leader.” [34:44] | Welcoming moral leadership in an organisation. [36:07]
Sep 30, 2021
How to Survive Being Creative: Jessica Abel, author of ‘Out on the Wire’, [reads] ‘How to Write an Autobiographical Novel’
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Shell ran their first scenario planning session in 1971, and they’ve been sharing some of their insights since then. In their new LENS report from 2013, they talk about three central paradoxes to our world: the prosperity paradox, the leadership paradox, and the connectivity paradox. Here’s the connectivity paradox. On one hand, we’ve never been more connected, and that has, in an extraordinary way, unleashed the ability to connect. And in the same moment, that same connectivity has destroyed the value of IP. While it’s easy to be a creative, it’s hard to fund a life as one. How do you find a way to live a life as someone who creates? I first came across Jessica Abel’s work upon discovering her book, Out on the Wire. The graphic novel is a must-read for anyone interested in the art of storytelling. And though I’ve written my fair share of books, I don’t really know what it takes to create a full-length graphic novel like Jessica does. In this episode, Jessica gives an inside look on life as a cartoonist, coach, and consultant. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Jessica reads two pages from ‘How to Write an Autobiographical Novel’ by Alexander Chee. [reading begins at 5:30] Hear us discuss:  Creativity as a career: Are you sacrificing joy? [8:50] | The line between external and internal validation. [12:08] | What is required for creative focus?: “I thought, ‘I can’t do an okay job on drawing. I can’t just be okay, I have to give it my all. I have to spend the time necessary to do it right, or I’m not gonna get up a level.’” [15:07] | “You have to say no to your own ideas. Learn that saying ‘no’ is saying ‘yes.’” [18:45] | What strong autonomy looks and feels like. [24:32] 
Sep 28, 2021
How to See the World Anew: Sara Hendren, Author of ‘What Can a Body Do?’ [reads] ‘Life as We Know It’
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Now I’m in my fifties, I’m no longer calling myself ‘young’. That time has come and gone. Being this age, I’m starting to feel the slight insults of my body breaking down. All in all, I’m fine. I adapt, and try to make things easier to accommodate my new limitations. However, all of this is happening to me within the bounds of what you’d call ‘normal.’ I’m cognitively and physically in the middle of the bell curve. What happens when you find yourself on the end of the bell curve? What deep adaptation is asked of you? More importantly, how might or should the world better accommodate and welcome who you are? Sara Hendren grew up in a highly conservative, religious, small town in Arkansas. Now, she’s a professor at Olin College of Engineering, just outside Boston, in the liberal North East of the United States. Just as she has a foot in each of these geographical worlds, her work also finds her straddling two worlds: humanities and technology. In her life, there have been many instances where she’s had to adapt after being thrown a curveball, and she joins me today for a conversation about humanism, accommodation, and adaptation. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Sara reads two pages from ‘Life as We Know It’ by Michael Bérubé. [reading begins at 12:20]  Hear us discuss: “Nothing human is alien to me.” [9:02] | The effect and reliability of expert opinion: “Expertise, in many cases, is very well-meaning, but it’s driven by a really powerful idea of ‘the average.’ Statistics and averages are useful to us at population scale, but they fall away when they try to describe our individual lives.” [18:12] | Navigating the line between general statistics and individual needs. [22:36] | Shifting your perspective. [27:03] | The evolution of common space. [32:31]
Sep 23, 2021
Humility & Trust: Rachel Botsman, author of ‘Who Can You Trust’ and ‘What’s Mine Is Yours’ [reads] ‘Quiet’
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Have you ever done a trust fall? The strong hands of your team catch you and support you, and in that moment, years of resentment, dissatisfaction with the underlying power structures, and petty politics are washed away; we are all together, united! At the heart of this version of trust-building, there is certainty. I know what’s going to happen. I can trust the future.  I’ve just finished reading Margaret Heffernan’s wonderful book, Uncharted, and there, she makes the compelling case for the opposite. Navigating the future requires comfort in uncertainty, ambiguity and big dreams, she posits. So what’s the role of confidence in this? Is vulnerability an anathema to confidence, or actually paradoxically foundational to it?  Rachel Botsman joins me today for an insightful conversation about her experience with the exploration of trust. She has many titles: an author who writes about trust, a lecturer at Oxford University, and a well-regarded keynote speaker. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Rachel reads two pages from ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain. [reading begins at 8:50]   Hear us discuss: “One of my biggest pet peeves is when we conflate confidence with capability and competence.” [15:28] | The connection between humility and trust: “To have humility, you have to be able to sit with uncertainty.” [15:42] | Gaining status when you lack privilege. [16:50] | Having the courage to admit uncertainty: “When you say what you can’t do as much as what you can do, that is rocket fuel for trust.” [21:24] | Implementing trust in organisations. [25:14]
Sep 21, 2021
How to be *Really* Happy: Stephanie Harrison [reads] ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’
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Christmastime in Australia is in mid-summer. The Northern hemisphere traditions of ugly sweaters, roasted meats, and roaring fires really just don’t vibe there. We’ve even got a Christmas carol about Santa’s sleigh being pulled along by kangaroos, rather than reindeer. Many years ago, on a hot Christmas day, my family packed a picnic and headed for Tidbinbilla, the nature reserve about an hour’s drive away. When we arrived, we laid out all the food, hung up some wind chimes, and set up a table and chairs in the middle of a river. Sitting there, eating my mum’s plum pudding with the water flowing by waist-deep, with my family - I knew I was happy.  Of course, happiness is elusive. The stories and expectations we’ve internalised about the requirements to achieve happiness are mostly illusions. Stephanie Harrison is a champion for a wiser path to happiness, or as she calls it, The New Happy. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Stephanie reads two pages from ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’ by Śāntideva. [reading begins at 12:40] Hear us discuss: The reluctance to give back to others: “The path to experiencing fulfilment and well-being is the ways in which we relate to other people.”  [16:15] | The process of learning to serve. [20:06] | Transcending ‘The Eye.’ [24:48] | Is happiness always a spiritual practice?: “Spirituality is about helping us to be human.” [27:28] | Self-care and self-renewal. [34:35]
Sep 16, 2021
The Law of the Rubber Band: Naphtali Bryant [reads] ‘The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth’
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I have a new book coming out in January, it’s called How to Begin. The book is about setting a worthy goal for yourself; something worthy of your life, something thrilling, important and daunting. I know you probably want that in theory, but in practice - what does it take to find a worthy goal, and what does it take to commit to it? Naphtali Bryant, Director of Learning & Organization Development at Netflix, can tell us how to do that. He has lived in two seemingly different worlds: the marines and the world of learning and development. He’s experienced his fair share of being pulled in many different directions, but, much like Stretch Armstrong, he has always been able to keep it together. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Naphtali reads two pages from ‘The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth’ by John C. Maxwell.  [reading beings at 13:10]  Hear us discuss:  How tension facilitates growth: “A rubber band is useless if it’s not stretched.” [17:47] | Articulating your purpose. [20:48] | Choosing projects to pursue: Are your motives pure? [23:19] | “Even though you’re being stretched, you will always return to who you are and the core of why you do what you do. It’s not going to break you.” [28:38]
Sep 14, 2021
How to Value Yourself: Stacey Vanek Smith, author of ‘Machiavelli for Women’ [reads] ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’
2040
I’ve never been that great at following a map. When I’d go hiking or tried orienteering, I’d struggle to put it all together. Now, we’ve all got phones, so the physical journeys are easier, but navigating the world? That’s as tricky as ever. There’s rarely a map, rarely a compass. Often, what we need is a guide. So, who’s your hero, your guide for how you navigate the world? Whose playbook do you follow? Lots of us might pick a kind, gentle type of guy, or maybe someone from the classics. But, who would pick the scheming politics of Niccolò Machiavelli, author of the infamous guide to politics, The Prince?  Stacey Vanek Smith is an author, a journalist, and the co-host of NPR's ‘The Indicator from Planet Money.’ She's also on a mission to rehabilitate Machiavelli. There’s much to learn from him, she says, especially when your own needs are compromised by power imbalances. In this episode, Stacey discusses the ups and downs of finding your inner Machiavelli. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Stacey reads two pages from ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ by Alain de Botton. [reading begins at 8:07] Hear us talk about:  Sitting with the ambiguity and messiness that accompany complexity: “You allow people the complexity of their own experiences and points of view, and the conclusions they draw from it.” [14:36] | Generosity when negotiating. [17:43] | Thinking about power: women versus men. [21:15] | Structural inequities of ‘finding your inner Machiavelli’: “There is a gift in having to fight for things.” [23:26] | Sense of agency. [26:55]
Sep 09, 2021
How to Navigate Failure: Brad Stulberg, author of The Practice of Groundedness [reads] ‘The Sane Society’
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How do you head for the heights and not lose yourself? Is it possible to be ambitious and strive for a worthy goal, and still stay grounded?  Well, wait. What exactly is groundedness? According to Brad Stulberg, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Brad has just published the third of a trilogy of books, including Peak Performance, The Passion Paradox, and most recently, The Practice of Groundedness. He’s not just an author, though; he’s also a researcher and coach on human performance, sustainable success, and well-being.  Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Brad reads two pages from ‘The Sane Society’ by Eric Fromm. [reading begins at 10:20]  Hear us discuss:  Does the arrival fallacy affect all generations? [15:29] | Navigating struggle and ‘failure.’ [19:01] | Pondering and nurturing a ‘deep community.’ [22:19] | Balancing short-term demands and long-term commitment: “The intellect is what can motivate, but the practice has to be really concrete, otherwise it breaks down very easily.” [24:56] | Becoming more involved in your community. [28:09] | “You don’t just become grounded. It’s not just a switch that you flick. It’s an ongoing practice.” [30:48] 
Sep 07, 2021
Cooperation and Competition: Nichola Raihani, author of ‘The Social Instinct’ [reads] ‘On the Origin of Species’
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I’m seven, playing cricket in my backyard in Canberra. I’m batting, my seventy-year-old grandmother is bowling, and I hit an amazing shot. Granny, the most competitive person I have ever met, hurls herself sideways and plucks an amazing catch inches from the ground; I utterly lose my mind. I throw the bat, I cry, I stomp off the field, and I lock myself in my room. Turns out, I was as competitive as my grandmother … and I wasn’t much of a gracious loser.  Nichola Raihani is a fan of cooperation and has much to say about its relationship with competition in our everyday lives. Nichola is a Professor of Evolution and Behaviour and a Royal Society University Research Fellow at University College London, and the author of the newly released book, The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Nichola reads two pages from ‘On the Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin. [reading begins at 25:10]  Hear us discuss: Cooperation and competition: “Cooperation is ultimately a form of competition.” [5:36] | Engineering and increasing cooperation. [32:35] | How punishment impacts cooperation: “The threat of punishment can be quite effective to induce cooperation, but when it is actually executed, it can cause cooperation to completely unravel.”  [38:00] | “A lot of the time, the reason people are cooperative is because it feels really good to help other people.” [46:41] 
Sep 02, 2021
How to Reinvent Yourself: Jenny Valentish, author of ‘Everything Harder’ [reads] Giraldi’s ‘The Hero’s Body’
1982
Jenny Valentish reading from William Giraldi’s The Hero’s Body and discussing the ups and downs of reinventing yourself.  How far have you pushed yourself? What’s the most fragile edge of yourself that you’ve stumbled out towards? If I had to choose one instance, it would be the time I ran a marathon with no training. I came in last, and I came in at the very limit of what I could’ve done. I was at my edge.  Jenny Valentish has explored the edges, both light and dark, not only in her writing, but in living her life. Jenny’s the author of Everything Harder Than Everyone Else, and a journalist. She joins me today to discuss the journey of reinvention. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Jenny reads two pages from ‘The Hero’s Body’ by William Giraldi. [reading begins at 9:34]  Hear us talk about:  The place for joy in reinvention. [14:45] | Is satisfaction attainable?: “The paradox of being very goal-oriented is that goals have disappointment built into them.” [18:07] | Celebrating the moment. [23:40] | Managing ‘the crash’: “There’s no rush. It can take a couple of years for an idea to slot into place, so don’t panic.” [25:18] | Uncovering what’s next. [27:57]
Aug 31, 2021
How to be a Beginner: Tom Vanderbilt, author of ‘Beginners’ [reads] Epstein’s ‘Range’
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Tom Vanderbuilt reading from David Epstein’s Range and discussing the art of beginning and learning new skills. There’s a New Yorker story called The Dolt by Donald Bartheleme. The final sentence reads thus: ‘Endings are elusive, middles are nowhere to be found, but worst of all is to begin, to begin, to begin.’  Tom Vanderbilt, journalist, and author, calls himself a perpetual beginner. He has written a little about a lot of things and has repeatedly been put in interesting positions. This has enabled him to write his most recent book: Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning, and share the ideal thinking we should adopt when facing those ‘beginner’s challenges’ that arise when learning new things. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Tom reads two pages from ‘Range’ by David Epstein. [reading begins at 8:45]  Hear us talk about:  How the exploration of various skills influences a writer. [13:04] | The art of beginning and learning: “We’re all beginners in our unique ways, and also in the same way.” [14:55] | Surviving conscious incompetence: “Progress is not always a linear process upwards.” [18:40] | Does it help to wallow in your mistakes? [22:34] | Productive mistakes. [25:07] | “Skill learning is mainly unconscious.” [27:57] | How to become an improved teacher. [32:25]
Aug 26, 2021
How to Rethink Ambition: Kieran Setiya, author of ‘Midlife’ [reads] Aristotle’s ‘Nicomachean Ethics’
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Here’s a saying I heard once - it used to be hilarious, now I guess it’s just painfully true: “Inside every old person is a young person wondering ‘What the hell just happened here?!’” When you hit midlife, is it just a slower, creakier version of being a thirty-year-old, or do things actually shift? What is contentment or ambition? What actually matters?  Kieran Setiya is a professor of philosophy at MIT in Boston, and the author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. In this episode, he shares the fundamentals of navigating problems and finding existential value in the midst of a crisis. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Kieran reads two pages from ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ by Aristotle. [reading begins at 7:50]  Hear us discuss:  Atelic activities and existential value. [13:37] | When to settle and when to disrupt: “Looking for an algorithm to tell you how to solve your life is not the way to do it.” [18:59] | Death’s role in shaping a meaningful life: “Thinking about the finitude of human life has changed my sense of what actually matters.”  [24:41] |Changes in ambition when navigating midlife. [31:18] 
Aug 24, 2021
How to Keep Creating: Jessica Hagy, ‘How to be Fearless’ x ‘The Stranger in the Woods’
1843
When I think of philosophy, I think ... lots of words, mostly humourless. So, it’s extraordinary when someone can make me think more wisely and gratefully about life using very few words. Jessica Hagy is one of those people. She is an author and cartoonist, best known for her blog Indexed. Her most recent book is How to be Fearless in 7 Simple Steps. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Jessica reads two pages from Michael Finkel’s The Stranger in the Woods, the Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit [Reading starts at 07:45] Hear us talk about: Coming to humour through language [03:05] | What we can learn from people at the extreme end of normal [11:50] | How to find new points of input [15:00] | Being fearless [16:45] | What we really want to be when we grow up [20:35] | The importance of structure [25:15]
Aug 19, 2021
Empathy and Argument: Tamsen Webster, ‘Find Your Red Thread’ x ‘Mistakes Were Made (But not by Me)’
2788
Part of the genius of humankind, the very bedrock of civilization is our ability to have ideas and to share them. “Hey, have you noticed ...? Hey, what if...?” That’s why it’s SO irritating that it’s SO hard to actually transmit your best thoughts. Tamsen Webster can help. She bridges worlds as an  English-to-English translator. She’s worked with hundreds of TEDx speakers to help take ideas from nebulous and confusing to irresistibly compelling. Her new book, Find Your Red Thread, is a blueprint. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Tamsen reads two pages from Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson [Reading starts at 19:25] Hear us talk about: The power of story and argument in communication [4:44] | How to construct a story-argument [11:31] | How to be a successful human [23:48] | Finding your ‘red thread’ [27:34] | Ideas need to be built [30:38]
Aug 17, 2021
How to Practice Understanding: Pamay Bassey, CLO Kraft Heinz x ‘The War of Art’
2038
Most of us understand why diversity and inclusion matters, in theory. But, how do you go from theory to practice? How do you understand and then champion different perspectives, experiences, and lives? How do you truly learn that? Pamay Bassey is someone who may have answers to these questions. She’s the Chief Learning and Diversity Officer for the Kraft Heinz Company. Pamay also is Chief Experience Officer at My 52 Weeks of Worship, a project focusing on interfaith diversity, communication, and understanding. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Pamay reads two pages from ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield. [reading begins at 14:30]  Hear us talk about: Battling resistance. [19:48] | “Learning anything is actually difficult.” [22:40] | Overcoming resistance at scale: “The idea of having a practice or habit is the antidote.” [23:53] | Making an impact in a new place: “The foundation is culture.” [26:02]
Aug 12, 2021
How to Think Straight: Julia Galef, author of ‘The Scout Mindset’ reads from ‘How to Actually Change Your Mind’
2401
Science and economics, two models underpinning society, base their theories on humans being rational people doing rational things. Yeah. You, me … we’re not rational, not even most of the time. But we can dream. Julia Galef is the author of The Scout Mindset, a book that seeks to explain how to improve human reasoning and judgement. In this episode of 2 Pages with MBS we dig into just what is rationality, and how grasping the concept will help with personal growth. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Julia reads two pages from the book ‘How to Actually Change Your Mind’ by Eliezer Yudkowsky. [reading begins at 11:25]  Hear us talk about:  The emotional satisfaction of having uncertainty in your beliefs: “If you see things in black and white, then you have to fight off any evidence that contradicts your theory.” [17:43] | Engaging in arguments without feeling personally attacked. [19:52] | Admitting you’re wrong: “Being wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong.” [27:58] | The role of emotions in bettering your thinking: “There would be no reason to do anything if we had no emotions at all.”  [32:35]
Aug 10, 2021
How to Act Like a Leader: Joel Constable, L&D at Intuit x ‘Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader’
2161
I started my career in market research, running focus groups. I was seeking consumer insights so we could find and build new products and services. Then, I moved into the world of leadership training and personal growth. Now I was after insight into myself: who am I? But, perhaps insight is not enough. Perhaps, we also need outsight. Today’s episode is perfect for anyone in the world of learning, development, and self-growth. I am joined by Joel Constable, someone who has been doing L&D for years at some of the most interesting companies in the world - Google, Pinterest and more recently, Intuit, where he is the current Director of Talent Development. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Joel reads from the book ‘Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader’ by Herminia Ibarra. [reading begins at 16:05] Hear us talk about:  “When I try to introspect or reflect my way into new behaviours, I’m always going to be confined by what I know and how I’ve thought in the past. I can’t think my way into that, I just need to try new things.” [21:39] | The S-curve in personal development: “What got you here, won’t get you there.” [22:15] | Acting like the person you want to become. [24:17] | Being comfortable with failure and making mistakes. [25:56]
Aug 05, 2021
How to Shape the Future of Work: Lisa Gill x ‘Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World’
2709
The pandemic has accelerated this conversation around the future of work in a way that would have felt inconceivable two years ago. But the future of work isn’t just ‘Zooming’ everything. The bigger questions are: How does power work? How do we stay human-centred? How do we find our way through complexity? In this episode, author and podcast host, Lisa Gill, explores the need for quantum shifts in organisations and the importance of relationships in an archaic company system. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Lisa reads two pages from ‘Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World’ by Meg Wheatley. [reading begins at 08:18] Hear us talk about: The fears lying at the heart of traditional management. [15:46] | The brokenness of relationships within organisations. [17:15] | Where to start in paying attention to relationships: ‘Self-reflection is the first step in fixing relationships.’ [20:34] | How crucial it is to have an active connection to your emotions. [24:48] | “Addressing the paradigm from which you operate must come before development conversations.” [26:34] | “Power is energy.” [31:21] | How to articulate power. [35:23] | How to start building your tribe - the comfort of finding other people who share the same frustrations and goals. [38:05]
Aug 03, 2021
How to be World-Positive: Swati Mylavarapu x ‘Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass’
1991
We are all investors. Whether it concerns our time, our focus, or our money, we choose where we want to put it. When you invest, the first question always asked is ‘What is the rate of return?’ What if the question was ‘What does the most good?’ In this episode, Swati Mylavarapu introduces us to her values-based venture capital fund and discusses the significance of humanising the workplace beyond an aim for profit and technological advancement. Swati is co-founder of Incite.org, a brilliant strategist, and a forceful good in the world. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Swati reads two pages from ‘Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass’ by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri. [reading begins at 15:04] Hear us talk about: What ‘world positive means from an investment standpoint: ‘Being an investor requires being a concerned and active citizen.’ [1:14] | What Swati offers as a non-traditional venture capitalist. [5:55] | Building and shaping new technology ventures. [20:45] | What influences investment decisions? [23:07] | The value-based diligence process when picking companies to invest in. [24:12] | The modern meaning of ‘work.’ [28:09]
Jul 29, 2021
How to Get to Grips with Reality: Oliver Burkeman x ‘Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life’
1845
Do you measure time passing by years or by days? Did you know that an 80-year-old has about 30,000 days in their lifetime? No matter where you are on your timeline, Mary Oliver posed the question best: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Oliver Burkeman, a wonderful author and journalist, joins me to discuss our limited control over reality and the future, and why not expecting things to be easy is the key to happiness. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Oliver reads two pages from ‘Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life’ by James Hollis. [reading begins at 12:27] Hear us talk about: Is wisdom only accessible through suffering? :The greatest goal is to make life more interesting.” [15:23] | The difference between the people who travel through ‘the wood’ and those who get stuck in ‘the wood.’ [18:32] | “Every moment of an authentically lived life is an encounter with its limitations, finitude and death.” [22:46] | How thinking that problems shouldn’t exist in life makes you unhappy: “What makes it unbearable is your mistaken belief that it can be cured.” [25:56]
Jul 27, 2021
Joy and Power: Minna Salami x ‘The Sex Lives of African Women’
2226
Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father and former Prime Minister of Canada, famously said 'There's no place for the State in the bedrooms of the nation.’ I agree … but sometimes you just *have* to talk about sex. Minna Salami joins me to explore the issues of freedom, healing, and regaining power after oppression from a black feminist perspective. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Minna reads two pages from ‘The Sex Lives of African Women’ by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah. [reading starts at 07:32] Hear us talk about: The search for freedom and healing among different sexualities, religions, and backgrounds. [11:31] | Taking back your power: “It is imperative to reimagine and unlearn everything that we think about power itself.” [14:14] | The ‘river’ metaphor for understanding power: “Power for humans is the equivalent of gravity for rivers - it is how we move forward to our destination.” [20:37] | “It is difficult to dominate people who feel conscientious joy.” [23:05] | The danger of passivity when rage disappears. [25:53] | Returning to freedom and finding home. [28:43] | How to decide where to share your voice. [30:53]
Jul 22, 2021
How to Keep Curiosity Alive: Martin Reeves x 'Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers'
2361
Does business shrink the heart or does it help it expand? Does it nourish the spirit? Can it even nourish the spirit? Martin Reeves of the BCG Henderson Institute and author of the new book “The Imagination Machine” explores how we might deliberately harness the full human potential of imagination in corporate arenas. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Martin reads two pages from 'Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers' by John Kay and Mervyn King. [reading begins at 07:34] Hear us talk about: The limitation of quantitative models and statistics. [11:22] | How Martin brings the concepts of storytelling and imagination into business conversations with clients: 'To create alignment, excitement and motivation, you need more than numbers.' [13:34] | How to keep curiosity and imagination alive in instances where efficiency is viewed as the main goal. [19:43] | Ways to measure success beyond the metrics: 'There are some things in life that you cannot obtain by pursuing them directly." [25:42] | Martin's experience and realisations in co-writing his book 'The Imagination Machine.' [31:01]
Jul 20, 2021
How to Resist Conformity: Julie Lythcott-Haims x 'Educated'
2868
Have I ever been embarrassed by some of the things I've done in the past? Endlessly. Have I ever been ashamed of things I’ve done? I have. But have I ever felt ashamed of myself on the basis of being me? Have I felt ashamed of myself for not fitting in because of some ‘unlucky’ so-called roll of the DNA dice? No, I have not. It turns out, this is privilege. Julie Lythcott-Haims, speaker, activist, and author of “Your Turn: How to be an Adult”, shares her experience growing up and living as a black and biracial woman and the struggle she faced in managing shame, and between conformity and being herself. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Julie reads two pages from 'Educated' by Tara Westover. [reading begins at 11:18] Hear us talk about: Julie's experience of finding her identity and how she harnessed this experience: ‘We must unburden ourselves from the shame installed in us by the opinions of others.’ [20:40] | How to stop seeking conformity and living to please others. [22:47] | How to find your own voice: 'Our doubtful feelings are just as much substantial proof of us being miserable as our bodies breaking down from stress.’ [27:52] | Differentiating which challenges make you stronger and which ones will make you miserable. [33:02] | What it means to be an activist. [36:21] | Moving from fear to love - What keeps us stuck in fear? [39:06]
Jul 15, 2021
You are Predictably Imperfect: Katy Milkman x 'Nudge'
2194
The belief that we have free will and that we are in charge of what goes on around us is mostly an illusion. Our decisions are rarely our own. For good or ill, most times we are nudged into ways of behaving. Author and Professor of Behavioural Science, Katy Milkman, joins me to talk about the science of getting where you want to be and how to use the insight that we are predictably imperfect to make better decisions. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Katy reads from ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’ by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. [reading begins at 08:19] Hear us talk about: Myths about behaviour change: 'There is no "one size fits all" approach to changing behaviour.' [3:32] | How to ethically think about being a 'choice architect.' [15:30] | The nuances of paternalism. [19:16] | How to inoculate yourself against manipulation that is not in your best interest: 'Knowledge and context should shape all decisions.' [21:28] | Insights around behaviour change and how it works: 'Rigidity in expectations will be our downfall.' [26:05] | How Katy's thinking on behaviour change has evolved over the years. [31:50]
Jul 13, 2021
How to focus on what matters: John Zeratsky x 'Rapt'
2381
Much like Dug the dog from the Pixar movie ‘Up,’ we all have our version of a squirrel that distracts us. In fact, there’s an entire industry in Silicon Valley that profits off of creating ‘squirrels’ to catch our attention. In the face of that, how do we find the time and focus to do the things that really matter? John Zeratsky, a former design leader at Youtube and Google Ads, is the author of two books aimed at helping people make time for and focus on the things that actually matter in life. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   John reads two pages from ‘Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life’ by Winifred Gallagher. [reading starts at 08:03] Hear us talk about: How to decide if something is worth your attention. [15:09] | 'Your happiness and sense of purpose are filtered through the impact you have on other people.' [20:17] | 'Almost everything in life contains its own inherent value and reward.' [22:43] | The true meaning of contentment. [23:30] | How to remain content in the face of failures. [25:41]  | How to seek out the right partners and team members. [29:47] | The ‘Sprint process’ in John’s book. [31:57]
Jul 08, 2021
How to Deconstruct Yourself: Luke Burgis x 'Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World'
2506
Does doing your work add to your sense of humanity … or lessen it? In this episode, Luke Burgis discusses the concept of 'principled entrepreneurship' and the significance of a holistic view of business in the context of human ecology. Luke is an author and veteran entrepreneur. He also introduces us to his book "Wanting" and the pivotal change in his own life that pushed him to lead a more virtuous existence. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Luke reads two pages from 'Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World' by René Girard. [reading begins at 13:44] Hear us talk about: The process of deconstructing and reconstructing yourself. [06:38] | How mimesis contributes to conflict: 'Imitation of desires leads to rivalry and conflict.' [17:50] | Is conflict a natural part of the human condition? [20:16] | The positive effect of cultivating relationships in unexpected places. [28:20] | The opportunity cost of choices: 'Decisions come with the renunciation of other opportunities.'  [35:51] | Shaping desires. [37:22]
Jul 06, 2021
How to be 100% Yourself: Jordan Dinwiddie x 'Nubia: Real One'
2026
Who's your favourite superhero? And now … what's the colour of their skin? Excluding greens and blues and purples, there aren’t that many Superheroes of Colour. But did you know that Wonder Woman has a black twin sister? In this episode, award-winning copywriter Jordan Dinwiddie introduces us to Wonder Woman's sister Nubia, and discusses the importance of recognising and embracing your power. Jordan, who works at Wieden + Kennedy, has been behind many ads that we see daily, including ads featuring Lebron James, and notable black women in sports. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Jordan reads two pages from the graphic novel 'Nubia: Real One' by L.L. McKinney. [reading begins at 20:08] Hear us talk about: Forging partnerships. [9:41] | Having productive conversations and disagreements without breaking a relationship. [14:23] | Having your powers acknowledged: “Stop hiding your powers and step into it.” [21:01] | Holding onto your sense of power, identity, and politics in environments where there are forces pulling you away from them. [23:38] | Creating and building a community for other women of colour. [25:16] | “It is an act of activism to be 100% yourself.” [27:53]
Jul 01, 2021
What To Do With Power: Matthew Barzun x ‘Toward a Fateful Serenity’
3034
What power do you have? We know power can be taken and hoarded, but can power be given away? I’ve walked the streets in protests on and off for many years, and I’ve always had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I’m with people, and we’re making our voices heard. On the other hand, will this really make a difference? Or is this simply an expression of frustration and powerlessness? Matthew Barzun is someone with a nuanced understanding of this dynamic, and we dig into in this conversation. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Matthew reads the essay ‘Toward a Fateful Serenity’ written by his grandfather, Jacques Barzun. [reading begins at 8:40]  Hear us discuss: Actively managing your power: “You don’t give away power to be selfless. You do it because you’ll get it back through others, so you can continue the cycle.” [15:30] | The power pyramid. [22:55] | The constellation: a symbol for interdependence. [28:26] | Understanding and tackling the systems around us. [30:58] | The pyramid versus the constellation. [33:10] | Creating a ‘constellation’ within an organisation: does the system always win? [36:28] | Applying the constellation mindset: “The more people who do it together, the better it goes.” [39:49] | Managing risk. [42:38]
Jun 29, 2021
One Way to be an Activist: Dr. Caroline Heldman x ‘On Being White ... And Other Lies’
2355
Did you have rules growing up? As the eldest child, I definitely had some of the ‘good in theory’ rules that my mum and dad were testing out as new parents. But there are rules, and then there are rules. Dr. Caroline Heldman’s past is part of what fuels her work. Today, she’s an academic, an author, and an activist, and she joins me to share her views on being a force for change in this world. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Caroline reads ‘On Being White ... And Other Lies,’ an essay by James Baldwin that was published in Essence. [reading begins at 16:22]  Hear us discuss:  “Whiteness is constructed by rejecting and debasing blackness.” [20:07] | Recognising the power of privilege. [23:19] | What it means to be an activist: “Taking action for social change is why I’m here on this planet.” [26:44] | “I’m all about the cause. I don’t want the title; I don’t want credit. I don’t care, as long as the culture shifts.” [33:31]
Jun 24, 2021
The Power of Being a Generalist: Vikram Mansharamani x ‘The Peter Principle’
2504
Have you ever felt like a victim of your reputation? You gain recognition for something; you claim it as your personal brand. Then, people assume that's all there is to you. How do you keep confounding others’ expectations of you? And more importantly, how do you continue to confound your own expectations? Dr. Vikram Mansharamani, author of Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence joins me today to talk about this. Vikram has lectured at Harvard and Yale, and was named LinkedIn's top voice for Finance & Global Economics. Clearly, he knows about building a reputation. Yet, when he describes himself, his expertise is the last thing he focuses on. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Vikram reads from ‘The Peter Principle’ by Laurence J. Peter. [reading beings at 14:56]  Hear us discuss: “Every single perspective is limited, biased, and incomplete.” [6:30] | “We’re so focused on the evaluation of the present that we’re not willing to consider an alternative for the future.” [20:18] | The ‘career jungle gym’. [21:49] | Holistic development: moving through the stages of learning. [26:20] | Being a generalist versus playing to your strengths. [28:57] | Nurturing curiosity. [32:34]
Jun 22, 2021
How (and why) to be good-ish: Dolly Chugh x A More Beautiful and Terrible History
2092
On a scale of 1-10, how good of a person are you? Yeah, tricky question. And even trickier: Is the person you think you are the same as the person who actually shows up, day-to-day, in life? Dolly Chugh, as well as being one of my favourite people,  is a professor of social psychology at the NYU Stern School of Business, and author of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. Dolly has made it her goal to speak to those of us who label ourselves as good people but may not realise how our unconscious biases affect the way we function. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Dolly reads from A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis. [reading begins at 11:23] Hear us discuss:  Addressing systemic bias: “Unlearning what we know and learning what’s correct makes it easier to see the systems around us.” [21:00] | Learning to unlearn: the ‘paradox mindset.’ [24:19] | Counteracting simple narratives: “You don’t have to believe only one thing.” [27:27] 
Jun 17, 2021
How to Overcome Loneliness: Ximena Vengoechea x “Reclaiming Conversation”
2348
There are times when I feel sad. My sadness is often accompanied by feelings of loneliness - I feel disconnected from people and what’s really vital in my life. Perhaps, you also experience this. Today’s guest is Ximena Vengoechea, someone with unique insights into connection. She works in the tech industry as a ‘user researcher,’ but this is not Ximena’s sole title; she is also an artist, a facilitator, and a writer. In this episode, she shares the essence of productive conversation and how to ensure that neither party is left feeling lonely. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Ximena reads two pages from ‘Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age’ by Sherry Turkle. [reading begins at 16:02] Hear us talk about:  The importance of boredom. [21:12] | Navigating loneliness: “It’s hard to feel lonely when you feel understood and seen in a conversation.” [25:35] | Becoming someone that others listen to: “Conversations come with needs.” [28:04]
Jun 15, 2021
Do We Want the Other Half to Fail?: Indra Adnan x ‘A Theory of Everything’
3106
Whatever country you’re living in, perhaps you feel the divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is becoming sharper. And that chasm is getting wider, deeper, and more treacherous. Indra Adnan raises a provocative question in light of that: why are we invested in the failure of half of our society? Indra challenges the very way we do politics as an agent of change both locally and in the wider world, and her latest book, The Politics of Waking Up, speaks to that. Get all the book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Indra reads from Ken Wilbur’s ‘A Theory of Everything.’ [Reading begins at 28:10] Hear us talk about: The definition of power. “Too often seen as force or coercion.” [2:45] | “People came together in extraordinary ways.” [13:31] | “It’s not politics itself which is toxic…” [36:28] | A force of change. [43:16]
Jun 10, 2021
I am disabled but not broken: Christa Couture x ‘Brilliant Imperfection’
2239
We all have labels - some are given to us, and some, we give ourselves. Christa Couture says that how you word those labels can make all a difference. Christa is a brilliant woman with many labels: she’s queer, indigenous, disabled, a writer, a musician, a broadcaster, and a mother. In today’s show, she reveals how these labels do and do not define her and the pressures that come with them. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Christa reads from ‘Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure’ by Eli Clare. [reading begins at 16:30]  Hear us talk about:  Acceptance and empowerment: “My body is good enough.” [23:04] | “I am not the broken one here; it’s the ideas that are broken.” [25:55] | Moving beyond shame. [29:27]
Jun 08, 2021
Goes to 11: A.J. Jacobs x ‘The Bible’
2325
There’s a scene in the music mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap, where one character reveals his amp collection. One, in particular, goes up to eleven -- not the usual ten -- for when you want to take it over the top. But what if you don’t play guitar? What if the thing you took to eleven was your curiosity about how life works? Author A.J. Jacobs is someone who plays to eleven. He is famous for writing about his lifestyle experiments, has done everything from fitness to smartness to religious, and has adopted the title of ‘human guinea pig.’ Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  A.J. reads from Ecclesiastes 9:7-12. [reading begins at 10:08]  Hear us further discuss:  “How much of life is luck?” [14:04] | Reframing a bad break: “Embrace the suck.” [20:08] | Carpe diem. [22:37] | Dignity of work and commitment: “Do something in the world! Don’t sit back and be a passive observer.” [25:18] | Finding the courage to commit fully. [26:38] | Wisdom: distinguishing wisdom from knowledge. [29:50]
Jun 03, 2021
Scaling Learning: Magdy Karam x ‘Dare to Lead’
2214
Let me be blunt: most of our learning experiences are TERRIBLE. They are not bad, just thoroughly, blandly, mediocre. I’m speaking specifically about learning in most organizations, and we’ve all had the experience of those courses that seem to suck the life out of us. But not every course, not every program. Magdy Karam is the Chief Learning Officer for Microsoft Canada. Over the years as a leader, he has scaled successful learning and development experiences, and in this episode, we get into the details of how he has successfully yielded results through shaping a learning culture. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/     Magdy reads from ‘Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.’ by Brené Brown. [reading begins at 11:10]  Hear us further discuss:  Evading hero syndrome. [16:33] | “There is no shame in not knowing or failing.” [20:05] | What we need to unlearn when adopting a growth mindset. [20:34] | Making inclusion a reality. [22:40] | Leading as an introvert. [25:00] | “Getting comfortable with what you’re doing means it’s time for change.” [31:24]
May 27, 2021
Transformed by Failure: Ashley Good x ‘The Rise’
2512
Failure is well and good in theory ... but how do we become comfortable with it in practice? Ashley Good knows. She calls herself a ‘full-time failure,’ and is the founder and CEO of Fail Forward, a consultancy centered around helping others to fail intelligently. She and I wrestle with the million dollar question: how can we begin to embrace and overcome failure in our lives? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Ashley reads two pages from the book ‘The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery’ by Sarah Lewis. [reading begins at 15:34]  You’ll also hear us talk about:  The transformational quality of failure. [22:24] | Different responses to failure. [26:55] | “Theoretically, it is true that we can all repair with gold, but it is not psychologically true for everyone.” [27:39] | Coping with failure. [28:09] | “Being transformed by failure requires us to acknowledge that things are hard. It is always possible to be your wisest self in your worst moments.” [34:07]
May 25, 2021
Freedom in Constraints: David Nour x ‘The Lords of Strategy’
2480
We network, and we’re LinkedIn connected … and at the same time, we’re not known, and we’re not seen. We’re followed, and we’re following on social media … and still, we’re lonely.  How do we find, build and nurture actual relationships? ‘Curve Benders,’ David Nour’s latest book, underscores how significant relationships are in our lives. In this conversation, David digs into how to build the strategic relationships that help you grow in all areas of your life. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  David reads from Walter Keichel’s ‘The Lords of Strategy.’ [reading begins at 16:20] We discuss:  “The only way to remain relevant is through a commitment to personal reinvention.” [23:30] |  “Think less about where you can find curve benders and more about how you can become one.” [25:10] | The role of exile in change. [26:33] | Finding freedom within the constraints of expectation. [28:44] | The entrepreneurial mindset. [31:21]
May 20, 2021
Trust is the Key: Jennifer Paylor x “Leadership and Self-Deception”
2149
If you can imagine a painter, musician or dancer, then you can probably bring to mind where they do their work. A place to explore, create and make ...but how is that relevant to those of us in the world of organizations and corporations? Today’s guest, Jennifer Paylor, calls herself an artist and it’s not only because she sings and writes. She is an engineer and the current Head of Learning & Development, Talent and Culture at Capgemini in North America. She believes that the work she does here is considered art, because she utilises her skills to create a harmonious environment, blurring the lines between Art and Science. Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Jennifer reads from ‘Leadership and Self-Deception’ by The Arbinger Institute. [Reading begins at 9:40]  You’ll also hear us talk about:  Being ‘in the box.’ [13:15] | Staying present to humanity in difficult conversations. [19:35] | “People talk in symptoms. There is a need somewhere, even if they don’t articulate it.” [20:32] | Culture hacking. [21:06] | Building influence in new organisations. [23:50] | Intellectual humility. [25:47] | “Trust is the key to human growth.” [30:09]
May 18, 2021
Conflict & Curiosity: Ian Leslie x ‘Revolution in the Head’
2454
“Living is easy with eyes closed Misunderstanding all you see It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out  It doesn’t matter much to me”  How do lyrics from “Strawberry Fields Forever” become a doorway to a conversation about conflict and creativity? Ian Leslie, bestselling author, thought leader in human behaviour, and Beatles nerd digs into the art of productive conflict, ridiculous standards, and the magic of Sir George Martin. Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ Ian reads from the book ‘Revolution in the Head’ by Ian MacDonald. [Reading begins at 8:13] Listen to this episode to learn: “Demanding the impossible.” [18:07] | Understanding productive conflict. [20:11] | “Conflict is essential to creativity and innovation.” [22:20] | Staying present in heated moments. [23:46] | The link between conflict and curiosity. [26:46] | Managing egos during disagreements. [30:09]
May 13, 2021
Lead Care Win: Dan Pontefract x 21 Letters on Life and Its Challenges
2251
“Human resources” <= This phrase drives me NUTS! It’s a term so common that we’ve grown deaf to the mechanistic coldness of it. How will we ever build organizations that are people-centric and allow for human flourishing … if we consider people just resources? Leadership strategist Dan Pontefract is on the frontlines with me in the quest to shape corporate cultures as human-centered. Dan joins me today to talk about how caring helps organizations flourish, when and where you need to manage, and why every interaction counts. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Dan reads from 21 Letters on Life and Its Challenges by Charles Handy. [reading begins at 6:05] Furthermore, we discuss:  “To me, the organization is a family” [11:03] | Challenges associated with adopting a human-centered way of thinking [14:13] | “You’re only as good as your last interaction with someone.” [21:02] | Being willing to embrace empathy in the workplace [22:02] | Organizational evolution [28:57] | “Once you change yourself, you can help to change others.” [33:55]
May 11, 2021
Brave Choices: Shannon Minifie x “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”
2448
What is it to make a brave choice? Where do you find the courage to not only choose, but to then commit, to a decision and be content with it. This episode’s guest is Shannon Minifie, who’s made one very brave decision: to be the successor as CEO of Box of Crayons, the learning and development company founded by me. Shannon’s one of my favorite people in the world, and in this conversation, we talk not only about making tough decisions but also about how she works to create an organizational culture where taking the easy way out is never encouraged. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Shannon reads from David Foster Wallace’s essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.” [reading begins at 4:27]         You’ll hear Shannon and Michael further discuss:  Temporal finitude: how being aware of death affects our living. [10:47] | “Part of being an adult is making decisions which foreclose other options.” [15:55] | Being radically candid. [16:39] | How to become comfortable with making brave choices. [24:54] | “You can create a more beautiful thing by setting boundaries within which it has to be created.” [29:25] | Rejecting comfort and ease: “Create cultures in which people can feel less alienated from their labor.” [32:08]
May 06, 2021
Heart of Abundance: Nell Edgington x “Playing Big”
2166
One of the most troubling trends among people who work for and in social change is the sense that you should not only do difficult (but rewarding!) work, but you should do it for scraps. It’s a mindset held by people in and outside of the movement, and it’s one of the reasons that it’s so hard to be a force for change. Today’s guest, Nell Edgington, wants to put an abundance mindset at the heart of social change. It’s time to embrace not just the change we want in the world, but also, the people who help shepherd it into the world. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Nell reads pages from Tara Mohr’s book, ‘Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak up, Create, and Lead.’ [reading begins at 3:36] Michael and Nell explore: How to be a change agent [7:33] | Fixing the social change sector [13:49] | How abundance works [15:46] | Welcome to the ‘transition team’ [19:37] | Three key takeaways from Nell’s book [26:13]
May 04, 2021
Hope For Tomorrow: Roman Krznaric x “Basin and Range”
2089
This won’t, unfortunately, be news to you: Each year, we consume the resources of 1.6 planet earths. We’re diminishing the environment, exhausting biological capital … and heading towards, well, who really knows... Is there hope? Yes. Is it up to you? Yes, at least partially. And where do we begin? By understanding what it takes to be a good ancestor. Practical philosopher, Roman Krznaric, joins Michael Bungay Stanier for a conversation about preserving our planet by adopting a long-term way of thinking that will not only benefit us but succeeding generations as well. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Roman reads pages from John McPhee’s book ‘Basin and Range.’ [reading begins at 6:22]         Hear Michael and Roman talk about:  Channeling your anger into constructive action. [11:28] | Being a ‘good ancestor.’ [14:03] | “We can change our habits,” Roman says. [21:10] | “Nothing in nature grows forever.” [24:27] | Activists’ responses to Roman’s book and the concept of long-term thinking. [25:49] | “Take care of the place that will take care of our offspring.” [30:00]
Apr 29, 2021
A Seat at the Table: Minda Harts x “Kindred”
1741
Have you ever felt like the only one? The outsider, alienated? In the workplace, women of color like Minda Harts are no strangers to feelings of isolation. Minda is the author of ‘The Memo: What Women of Colour Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table,’ a career guide for women of color. The advice she shares in the book is what she wished someone would have told her when she was younger. Before becoming an author, she spent fifteen years in corporate America where she often experienced racial aggression from her colleagues. In this episode of 2 Pages with MBS, Minda shares her story of turning trauma into triumph, emphasizing the importance of being a good ally. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Minda reads from ‘Kindred,’ written by Octavia Butler. [reading begins at 8:05]  Michael and Minda discuss:  The importance of affording opportunities to women of color. [12:50] | How to be a good ally. [16:10] | “Listen, educate, activate.” [17:00] | “We all have the ability to speak someone else’s name in the room.” [17:48] | Rewriting your story and changing the narrative. [18:04] | “We are able to redefine what success means for us.” [19:15] | “In that moment, I was the handhold for myself.” [22:44]
Apr 27, 2021
Fragile and Fleeting: Mason Currey x “The Magic Mountain”
1752
What does it take to start working towards a worthy goal? A goal that’s thrilling, important and daunting. Author Mason Currey might have an answer. Actually, answers. Mason’s writing focuses on the lives and routines of many renowned, creative minds. As a creative mind himself, he shares with listeners his process and the many elements involved in producing ambitious and creative work. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Mason reads two pages from the book ‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann. [reading begins at 4:23]  Michael and Mason talk about:  How mortality affects the way we show up in the world [10:53] | Transitioning into another world [13:48] | Rituals that allow creativity to flourish [16:30] | “Inspiration comes through your work rather than the other way around.” [17:38] | Sharing your work with others: how to be fragile but not shattered [18:29] | Art gets stronger when it’s beaten [20:15]
Apr 22, 2021
Killing Your Ego: Riaz Meghji x “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”
2037
The pandemic has brought about an epidemic of loneliness. Human connection expert, Riaz Meghji is here to talk about fixing it. Riaz has 17 years of experience in broadcast television, covering current affairs, sports, entertainment, politics and business. In this episode, he shares insights he acquired along the way about retaining humility in an industry where big egos easily develop, and the importance of candid conversation. Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Riaz reads from the book ‘Everyone Communicates, Few Connect’ by John C. Maxwell, explaining that he has always been fascinated by the art of how and why we connect. [reading begins at 5:00]  Furthermore, you’ll hear MBS and Riaz discuss:  The book’s impact on Riaz [9:10] | Arrogance as an interviewer [10:39] | Establishing connection and trust [13:17] | Perfecting one’s craft while remaining humble [18:19] | Navigating and evoking emotion [25:20]
Apr 20, 2021
The Double-Edged Sword: Octavia Goredema x “Year of Yes”
2089
What does it take to be at the very top of your game? That’s something Octavia Goredema thinks about frequently. As the founder of Twenty Ten Agency, a media platform providing career coaching services, Octavia and her team strive to elevate career opportunities for under-represented professionals. She was also appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen, and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, leading the Gender Equity Network in the United States of America. As a woman of colour, Octavia has firsthand experience with inequality in society and its emotional toll. In this episode of 2 Pages with MBS, she shares her story and how she attempts to make the world a more inclusive place through her work.  Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  The book Octavia reads from is titled ‘Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person,’ written by Shonda Rhimes. [reading begins at 4:15]  You’ll hear MBS and Octavia discuss:  Managing vulnerability when starting new projects [10:45] | Receiving validation [15:44] | What success means [19:41] | What Octavia aims to teach her readers [21:20] | Women of colour can’t fix all of the systemic issues alone [22:18] | Realising your worth [25:05]
Apr 20, 2021
Unmasking Ourselves: Monika Jiang x “Sensuous Knowledge”
1847
Have you ever fallen down a rabbit hole? When something catches your eye and you just have to follow it, finding yourself in a new world? It happens in business like it does in life, and Monika Jiang spends most of her time in a brand new world of business. Monika is a Millennial Activist and Head of Content and Community for the House of Beautiful Business, a global platform and community for making humans more human and business more beautiful. She and Michael discuss the importance of expanding your views to continuously grow. Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  Monika reads pages from ‘Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone’ by Minna Salami. [reading begins at 5:44] Michael and Monika also talk about: The book’s impact on Monika [15:23] | What makes life so livable [17:03] | Our ongoing evolution as people [17:45] | Focusing less on passing the finish line [20:33] | Creating brave and safe spaces [21:34]
Apr 20, 2021
The Dilemmas of a CEO: Dig Howitt x “In Search of Excellence”
1908
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the CEO of a massive company? What do you do? What do you worry about? Michael Bungay Stanier is joined by his friend Dig Howitt, CEO and President of Cochlear, a medical device company that helps people hear and be heard. They have a conversation about modern business and what makes a company successful. Dig shares the responsibilities and difficulties that accompany his position as a high-ranking officer, and offers advice that he utilises to ensure he continues to grow and learn as a leader. Get book links and resources at https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/   Dig selected the book ‘In Search of Excellence’ by Tom J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. [reading begins at 3:40]  MBS and Dig Howitt discuss:  The book’s impact on Dig [7:42] | Leadership versus management [10:03] | The relationship between strategy and culture [11:30] | Being a follower and a leader [13:25] | Improving failure capacity within a company [16:45] | Building a strong leadership team [20:15] | Diverse views within a team [22:30]
Apr 20, 2021
Welcome to 2 Pages with MBS
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Which books are the true classics, the ones that change minds and shape lives? Authors, activitists, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and leaders read the best two pages of their favourite book ... and then dig in with MBS to the insights and ideas within.
Mar 08, 2021